Thomas Gregory had a couple of big – and, apparently, tiring – days last Sunday and Monday.
Northville Police Chief Gary Goss said authorities have tied the 34-year-old Redford Township man who led them on a high-speed chase through multiple communities to a string of crimes that started with a stolen car and ended with multiple home invasions, The Observer & Eccentric reports.
Before he was arrested Tuesday, the resourceful Gregory eluded officers for several hours, hiding in playground equipment at a local elementary school and later making a bed of a swimming pool flotation device and taking a 3-hour nap.
Gregory reportedly led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen Ford F-150 pickup through Southfield, Farmington Hills and Novi before the chase was called off in the area of Eight Mile and Haggerty roads around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
He abandoned the vehicle, reportedly fled on foot and hid out in the playscape at Moraine Elementary for several hours until he broke into a home on Dunsany in Northville about 2:30 a.m. Monday. Goss said Gregory used a ladder he found in the back yard and climbed onto the roof of the home’s three-season room. He planned to hide, but made enough noise that he awoke the homeowner.
He fled, finding a hiding place in a shed in a house on Chigwidden. There, he found swimming pool equipment, including a pool float that he used as a makeshift bed, where he took a 2-3 hour nap, police said.
After Gregory had rested, he broke into the home and stole wallets and credit cards, cash, a Rolex watch and other items, then fled in a Jeep that was parked in the garage, Goss said.
He reportedly attempted to use one of the credit cards at several locations before a patron at the 7-11 store on Eight Mile in Livonia spotted him and notified police.
Gregory was arrested in Redford Tuesday after authorities with the Western Wayne County Investigations (WWCI) task force staked out his residence and other known hangouts.
When he was arrested at the Mount Vernon Motel on Grand River near Telegraph, police recovered a stolen Jeep and other items that had been taken during his crime spree, Goss said.
Gregory was arraigned Thursday in Northville’s 35th District Court on charges of first degree home invasion, a 20-year felony, as well as car theft and stolen identity. He is being held in Oakland County Jail on $20,000 cash bond. Goss said
Other jurisdictions may file charges as well, Goss said.