Home Nonviolent defense Suspected ‘active’ Ferndale car burglar stole weapon hours after release from previous...

Suspected ‘active’ Ferndale car burglar stole weapon hours after release from previous arrest – The Oakland Press


A man accused of stealing a Glock handgun from a car and suspected of other thefts from vehicles in Ferndale will undergo psychiatric examination ahead of his next court hearing.

William N. Thurman, 34, of Oak Park, appeared in Ferndale 43rd District Court on Thursday, where Judge Joseph Longo ordered the psychiatric examination at the request of defense attorney Deborah McKelvy.

“He’s been very active in Ferndale,” Ferndale Police Officer Jillian Mahlmeister said of Thurman.

The suspect is accused of stealing a handgun from a car parked in the owner’s driveway in the 300 block of Laprairie Street early March 18.

Police said the owner had exterior CCTV that showed the suspect taking the licensed weapon from the unlocked car around 7:10 a.m.

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Mahlmeister said investigators recognized Thurman because he had been arrested several hours earlier for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

“He was arrested in the 1200 block of West Marshall after a witness saw him checking door handles of parked vehicles,” she said.

Thurman was ticketed and released because it was a nonviolent offense, as now required by state law, Mahlmeister said.

“The law has changed how long we can detain non-violent offenders,” she said. “So he was released and three hours later he was back to do the same thing.”

With the assistance of Oak Park Public Safety, Ferndale Police arrested Thurman in Oak Park on March 22.

“Between March 7 and the time he was arrested, we had about a dozen thefts from vehicles,” Mahlmeister said. “Our recent wave of car thefts appears to have stalled for now.”

Most burglars who walk the streets to check if parked cars are locked steal change unless they find more valuable items they can take and sell, she added.

Thurman is jailed on $11,000 bond, 10%, for firearm theft, a five-year felony and one misdemeanor count of breaking and entering a vehicle to steal.

His criminal history includes convictions for disorderly driving in Birmingham, first-degree home invasion in the village of Lathrup, breaking and entering a vehicle in Southfield and tampering with a motor vehicle in Troy, police said.

Thurman will be examined at the state’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry for criminal responsibility and fitness to stand trial.

He will return to court in Ferndale after the review, which usually takes around four to six weeks, is complete.

Thurman refused to speak to Ferndale police after his arrest and the stolen weapon has not been recovered, police said.