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Plainfield Township man accused of 50 break-ins | News

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Plainfield Township man accused of 50 break-ins

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- New developments have emerged in the case of the man accused of burglarizing 35 or more businesses during a four-month crime spree throughout West Michigan.

32-year-old Erik Maximillian Hatzinger was formally charged Friday in three of those incidents and it is not Hatzingerr's first time in trouble with the law.

The Plainfield Township man was already out on bond for a September break in at El Burrito on the East Beltline. He also had two prior B&E convictions from 2005 and 2008.

Hatzinger was formally charged in 59th District Court for allegedly breaking into a Belle Tire at 2950 28th Street early Thursday morning.

"Our investigators responded, and subsequent interviews took place. The individual ended up confessing to over 50 business burglaries," said Lt. Kevin Kelley with the Kent County Sheriff's Office. "He hit over 50 businesses in Plainfield, Alpine and Grand Rapids Townships. We are very fortunate to have this dangerous individual off the street."

Hatzinger was also charged in 61st District Court Friday for two different crimes at 2107 East Beltline in October and at a different Belle Tire at 3235 Plainfield in August.  Court documents say Hatzinger admitted to the crimes saying he needed money for drugs.

"He was basically an opportunist. He has drug habit to support, so he is looking for an easy target to get in, get out quickly and obtain cash or something he can redeem for cash to support his drug habit," said Kelley.

Gary Greer, the owner of The Crushed Grape which was broken into earlier this summer, says Hatzinger "was pretty equal opportunity when it came to where he broke into. It was restaurants, it was liquor stores, it was Belle Tire."

He says knowing there was a serial burglar on the loose struck fear in many business owners and they are comforted that police say they have their man.

Despite police saying Hatzinger admitted to 35 of the break-ins, he has entered a plea of not guilty to the three felonies he's been arraigned on so far.

Kelley says expect more charges to come

"We are not done solving these cases. Investigators are still looking at him for several other burglaries," he said.

Hatzinger is set to be back in court on November 4th for his prelim on the Belle Tire break-in.

He faces a maximum of ten years on each breaking and entering charge. The sentence could double if found guilty of being a habitual offender.