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Teen accused of stealing $1 million worth of jewelry

A Detroit teenager faces criminal charges for his alleged participation in a million-dollar jewelry theft. The 19-year-old man is alleged to have broken a window to gain entry into a home in Grosse Pointe from which the jewelry was taken. He was arraigned on charges of home invasion in the second degree, larceny involving goods worth more than $20,000 and habitual-offender status.

The young man's brother and his 26-year-old girlfriend previously had been arraigned on charges pertaining to the alleged theft. They stand accused of taking possession of stolen jewelry and then attempting to pawn it for cash. Police also took into custody a fourth person, a man who they believe helped with the alleged break-in.

In the case of the 19-year-old man, the judge set a $500,000 cash surety bond with the requirement that he pay 10 percent, citing his criminal history, potential for leaving the area and lack of a stable home.

If convicted, the man could spend the rest of his life in prison because he has been deemed a habitual offender. Without that designation, the combined charges would have brought a maximum 25-year prison sentence.

People can be deemed habitual offenders if they have a record of at least three felony convictions. The 19-year-old previously had convictions for larceny of a building and second-degree home invasion in March 2011 and larceny from a motor vehicle four months earlier.

Additionally, the man took part in the state's Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. Through that program, young people who have no criminal history can serve a sentence and have the case dismissed. The goal is to keep a young person from amassing a criminal record.

Given that the man has other felony convictions, he would not qualify to take part in the program again. Still, at age 19, the man could benefit from rehabilitation, not incarceration, if convicted.

Source: Grosse Pointe Patch, "Accused Burglar Arraigned in $1M Jewelry Heist," Sara Eaton Martin, Sept. 9, 2012

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