Homeless man arrested for theft from Finch Fieldhouse, destruction of property

A 71-year-old man was arrested by Central Michigan University police, Monday, at the Charles V. Park Library.

Douglas Elijah Browning was charged with larceny from a building, criminal trespassing and malicious destruction of property. He was arraigned in Isabella County Trial Court, Tuesday, by Magistrate Sandra Straus.

Police said he stole a backpack from Finch Fieldhouse owned by the Recreation Department, the contents of which were valued at more than $400.

Lt. Larry Klaus of CMUPD said Browning had been living in Finch Fieldhouse for at least a couple of days.

"It appeared he'd been staying in the building for several days," Klaus said. "He's not a student here, so he can't live in our residence halls and academic buildings."

Klaus said officers made contact with Browning on March 20, informing him he could no longer be in the building. After several reports of graffiti and theft were reported, Klaus said Browning was located through video surveillance and arrested on March 24 around noon.

Graffiti on the windows in Finch were reported to read "KJB reigns forever," Klaus said.

"The focus here is not the trespassing," Klaus said. "He came here and stole. There was also the damage to property. We're not snatching students up in the library."

When offered to be transported to a homeless shelter or the Isabella County Soup Kitchen, Browning refused service, Klaus said. He said CMUPD encounter six to 10 homeless people on campus per year, and always try to arrange some assistance.

"We're here to help people," Klaus said. "We want to assist people in getting their needs met. But we have residence halls and academic buildings. There are some boundaries. If (the homeless) continue to trespass, they subject themselves to criminal trespassing"


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