A 62-year-old Detroit man was caught wet-handed, hiding in a bathtub after being interrupted by police in the midst of an alleged home invasion in Ann Arbor — and he may have been involved in several others, police say.
The incident took place early Saturday morning, at about 12:15 a.m., on the 1300 block of Minerva.
That's in a part of town where many University of Michigan students live. And the timing of the break-ins, during winter break, fits the pattern of home invasions in Ann Arbor, which tend to spike when students are out of town, said Lt. Matthew Lige, an Ann Arbor Police Department spokesman.
The 911 caller told police he woke up to find his home alarm going off, and when he went to go check he found a man in his living room.
The suspect saw the man, then fled through a window.
Police tracked the suspect to a second home but lost sight of him.
Three hours later, police received a 911 call about a suspicious person seen peeking into windows on the 1500 block of Geddes, about a mile away.
Officers arrived to find a man who matched the description exiting a home, but he ducked back inside when officers approached. Inside, officers found the man hiding in a bathtub, police said.
Police identify the suspect as Michael Brooks, 62, of Detroit. Brooks has an "extensive background in exactly this crime," home invasions, Lige said.
Police are investigating and believe Brooks could have been involved in at least five other home invasions: the two on Saturday, plus three additional cases. The three others took place on the 1700 block of Geddes, the 500 block of Linden, and the 400 block of High Street, which is on the north side of town.
At his Jan. 1 arraignment, Brooks was given a $100,000 bond on two counts of home invasion first-degree, and three counts of home invasion third-degree.
Lige said home invasions tend to increase during UM vacations, as students leave town.
"There's planning and preparation for most of these," Lige said, referring to the invasions. "It's entirely possible that additional charges will result as people get back to town and find things missing."
Brooks was sentenced to a minimum of three years and seven months to a maximum of 15 years in prison in March 2011 after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree home invasion in Washtenaw County.
One of the crimes was a day-before-Thanksgiving home invasion in 2008, and the other was for a New Year's Eve 2010 home invasion.
Brooks was paroled in December 2016 and was to remain on parole for two years, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz.
He was denied parole in 2014 and 2015.