Dowagiac man gets probation for Silver Creek Township break-in

Published 12:38 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — A Dowagiac man who broke into a number of area homes last year was sentenced to probation and completion of the Adult Treatment Court program.


Matthew Ray Smith, 44, of Orchard Street in Dowagiac, pleaded guilty to breaking and entering a building with intent to commit larceny and was sentenced to three years probation, credit for 80 days served, completion of the Adult Treatment Court and the Twin County Probation program and $2,128 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred March 21, 2023 at a resident on California Road in Silver Creek Township outside of Dowagiac. Smith was identified from a neighbor’s camera and a tip that the jewelry stolen was being sold at a South Bend pawn shop.

Defense attorney Robert Kardatzke said that Smith has already been involved in the Twin County Probation program and has a job that will start soon.

“He’s getting back on his feet,” he said.

Cass County Circuit Judge Mark Herman noted that this is Smith’s second time going through the Twin County program.

“You’re 44 years old, you have to appreciate the fact that the prosecutor has agreed to let you go through the program a second time,” he said. “I’ve never seen them approve it a third time. It’s important you take it seriously.”

Judge Herman warned Smith that the stakes are higher this time and that if he violates his probation he will be going to prison.

“You previously had your probation revoked in 2021 and spent a year in jail,” he said. “Then you had two more felonies of possession of burglar tools and possession of meth besides this one. This time the stakes are higher.”

“This is an opportunity to get your life back on the straight and narrow,” the judge added. “We’re all on probation every day. We don’t ask you do anything any different than all of us do every day, just to live by the same rules all of us live by. Imagine how you would feel if you came home and found your house broken into, you would want that person hung by the highest tree. Treat others how you would like to be treated.”