Ann Arbor Weather:
Thursday February 20, 2020
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed

East Side Story

Copper thieves hit Buckingham Road

by David Erik Nelson

Published in December, 2008

On the evening of October 13, residents on Buckingham Road smelled gas.

As a DTE technician fruitlessly wandered the neighborhood with a flashlight and digital detector, neighbors recalled that one house, which had sat vacant since the owner's death, had an unfinished renovation. They discovered that a twenty-foot length of copper gas line had been carefully unscrewed from its junction at the side of the renovated garage and then roughly snapped off where it peeked out from beneath the half-finished carport. Natural gas blew freely from the ragged stub of pipe.

The home's owner, Mike Johnston, was killed this past March. A tow-truck driver, Johnston was pulling a drunk driver out of a ditch when a second drunk sped past flares and police and slammed into him, killing him instantly.

Johnston's neighbors let themselves into his tidy brick bungalow, where the DTE man finally found the meter in the back of a closet, cranked it shut, and sealed it with a brass lock. Meanwhile someone found a copy of Johnston's obituary and was able to contact his sister. She explained that the house was still stuck in probate. Although no payments had been made on the mortgage since March, Countrywide Home Loans had yet to make a claim. Three days later a sketchy pair of contractors arrived to drill out the front locks and replace them with a padlock.

Asked whether their arrival meant the property was in foreclosure, a contractor shrugged: "Well, when it's in foreclosure-foreclosure, they have us come through and change all the locks."     (end of article)

[Originally published in December, 2008.]

 



 
Bookmark and Share
Print Comment E-mail

You might also like:

Music: Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, & Traditional
Phone Calls from Prison
Tracking a young friend through the MDOC
"John Allen"
Out: Dry Cleaning In: Flying Axes
Axe Ventura arrives.
Linda R. Benson
Lawton
Restaurants that are Disability Friendly
A clickable zoomable map
Solar Panels
Plugging into the sun
Bob & Jorja Feldman
Northern Cardinals
Sweet eye treats for all seasons
Bob & Jorja Feldman
Middle Schools
Sister Yvonne's Pilgrimage
She led St. Joe's growth. Now she's working to end homelessness.
Jan Schlain
Subscribe to the Ann Arbor Observer
spark ann arbor
Pioneer theater
Vicki's Wash and Wear Haircuts