BUENA VISTA TWP, MI — Debris consisting of the home’s interior littered the lawn of the house on the 1000 block of South 27th Street. The inside looks like a hurricane blew through it.
Crystal Thomas and her children were left homeless after police came to her home last Friday looking for her 16-year-old son.
“They made sure I could not live in my home,” said Thomas, who has been renting the property for about three years.
Michigan State Police were executing a search warrant at the property about 4 p.m. on Nov. 30 when they believed that someone had barricaded themselves inside the home.
It was later discovered that no one was in the house and police left the premises about 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
Police were searching for Thomas’ son in an investigation of an armed robbery last week.
Thomas said that her son had not been home since he became defiant to her and that she tried explaining that to police, who had detained her on her way home from work Friday.
“I cooperated with them to the fullest while I was detained,” she said. “My son called my phone several times while I was detained and they told me to answer it the last time he called.”
Thomas said she told her son to turn himself in. She then offered officers a key to her home so they could go in and see that he was not here.
Thomas said she told police that they would find three of her kids at her home when they went there, minus the son she was looking for.
“They got the same info from me and my kids,” she said.
Thomas said she stopped cooperating with police after they refused to take her key and enter the home.
“They said they can’t do it like this because there are precautions,” she said. “I didn’t know the precautions would be all of this.”
All of the home’s windows are boarded and teargas canisters litter the inside of the home. Outdoors can be seen from the interior kitchen wall. Thomas’ bedroom is inaccessible.
“They sent the robot in they tore up the house,” Thomas said, tearfully. “They could’ve sent the robot first.”
Now, Thomas said she has to leave work and drive past her home numerous times throughout the day to make sure no one is breaking into the home, something that has already begun to happen.
Police had said they received conflicting information about whether the juvenile was in the home.
“They asked me do I think he would be willing to turn himself in and I told them no,” Thomas said. “That’s all I told them.”
Thomas said she will have to move her family in with her mother while she determines what she will do next.
MSP Lt. David Kaiser said there is a process to be reimbursed for damages.
“The owner can file a claim with the insurance company and the insurance company goes through the state administrator,” Kaiser said. “The owner has already been in contact and is working with the state police and insurance company.”
Kaiser called the incident unfortunate, “especially with the holidays coming.”
“It’s not her fault that her son made some bad decisions,” Kaiser said.
Police have yet to apprehend Thomas’ son.
“I will hand-deliver my child when I get my hands on him,” Thomas said.