Suspects arrested for Niles home invasion robbery

NILES — Two suspects have been arrested in connection to a home invasion robbery in Niles, according to the Niles Police Department.

At approximately 10:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, NPD officers were dispatched to an apartment complex in the 700 block of Broadway Street on the report of a home invasion with a shot being fired. 

Upon arriving, officers found two black male victims, both 21 years of age, who had been assaulted during the incident. The suspects, described as two white males, one approx. 5’11” and the other approximately 6’3” tall, both with stocky builds, beards and wearing ski masks and dark clothing. 

One of the suspects was reportedly armed with a knife while the other was said to be armed with a handgun and that at least one shot was fired by this suspect during the incident. The victims said they were robbed of a quantity of marijuana, cash, and personal property. Both victims were assaulted during the incident, requiring them to be transported to area hospitals by SMCAS ambulance service for treatment. One victim was later flown to a hospital in Indianapolis due to the extent of his injuries.

The injuries were the result of being physically assaulted, and not due to the gunshot. 

Through their investigation, detectives with the Niles Police Department and Michigan State Police (#53 Niles Post) discovered a third victim, a 21 yr. old white female who had fled the apartment before police arrived. This female had also been assaulted during the incident and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Through continued investigation, detectives identified Randy Dean McGrath and Larry Ray Sarters as potential suspects in the case. 

Search warrants for the homes of both men were obtained and during the early morning hours of March 17th those search warrants were executed, one in Niles Twp. by members of the Berrien County Tactical Response Unit and the other in Cass County by members of the Michigan State Police Emergency Services tactical team.

Detectives from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department assisted with the search of the Cass Co. residence. As a result, investigators located a handgun, large quantity of marijuana, and cash at both residences. Through their investigation, detectives learned that the motive for this incident may have been in response to the victims stealing marijuana and other products from the suspects previously.

McGrath was arraigned in Berrien County’s fifth District Court in Niles on March 18, while Sarters was arraigned on March 19. McGrath was charged with one count of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery, two counts of great bodily harm, possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a dangerous weapon and eight counts of felony firearm. McGrath is being held on $300,000 cash bond.

Sarters was charged with one count of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of great bodily harm while being held on $250,000 cash bond.

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