OSCODA – Jonathon Joseph Torpey, 31, Oscoda, could be sentenced to life in prison for allegedly breaking into two different business in Oscoda Township last month.
He is scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, for a probable cause conference.
Torpey faces one felony count of breaking-and-entering, two felony counts of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer and one misdemeanor count of breaking-and-entering a vehicle to steal property less than $200. These are all related to an alleged incident which occurred at the former Oscoda Home Center on West Michigan Avenue, which now operates as Can Do Contracting.
Torpey also faces a felony breaking-and-entering count for crimes he allegedly committed during the same time frame at the dentist office of Dr. Terra Mallais on North State Street.
According to court records, Torpey is a habitual offender with a fourth offense notice, which is why these latest alleged violations could land him in prison for life.
Torpey was previously convicted of three felonies, each of which were handled Iosco County’s 23rd Circuit Court, including an attempted breaking-and-entering with intent in 2014. He was also convicted twice in 2015 of the offense of breaking-and-entering a building with intent.
As previously reported, it was at about midnight on July 26 when Oscoda Township Police Department (OTPD) officers were informed by a passerby that he had witnessed a male crawl under a fence at Can Do Contracting.
Officers were told by the witness that the male also entered a vehicle which was parked inside the fenced lot.
Authorities arrived on scene and started a property inspection, at which time they heard someone near the rear of the building. OTPD personnel entered the fenced yard and located an open entrance at the back of the business.
They went into the building, announced themselves and located a male – later identified as Torpey – who was allegedly hiding inside.
Court documents reveal that officers gave Torpey several verbal commands to show himself and show his hands to officers, but he allegedly refused to comply and continued to move behind shelving in an attempt to hide from police.
The OTPD allegedly located Torpey behind a row of shelving and gave him a verbal command to place his hands behind his head, to which he refused to comply.
One of the officers grabbed Torpey’s arms to place him into handcuffs, at which point he allegedly pulled away from the officer.
Authorities were able to push Torpey to the ground, where they claim he continued to resist and refused to place his hands behind his back. The officers were able to secure Torpey in handcuffs using physical force.
It is further alleged that Torpey refused to identify himself to the OTPD.
Police state that they located miscellaneous items on the ground next to Torpey, including a lighter, flashlight, four rolls of U.S. Postal stamps and a holder containing additional stamps.
He was lodged in the Iosco County jail and confirmed his identity to police after he was fingerprinted.
Also taking place on July 26, at about 9 a.m., an OTPD officer was dispatched to the dentist office owned by Mallais for a breaking-and-entering complaint.
The officer met with one of the employees, who said that when the landscaping company arrived, they advised staff that a window in the building had been broken out.
According to court records, the suspect went through the drawers in the office and stole three brand new rolls of postcard stamps, a partial roll of another and a postage stamp holder containing an unknown amount of stamps.
Police report that the suspect also stole an unknown number of gold tooth caps/crowns from the building, which were saved to be melted down and reimbursed for gold value.
It is noted that the office butts up to the Can Do Contracting property along the AuSable River.
The following day, one of the dentist office employees went to the OTPD building and allegedly identified the three rolls of unopened stamps as those she bought earlier that week from the Post Office.
These items were valued at more than $130, and court records show that the gold teeth crowns/caps were not located.
According to police, it was Torpey who allegedly broke into the dentist office, with the incident occurring in the late hours of July 25 or the early morning hours the following day. He was arrested on Aug. 14 and released the same day on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.