Homeless man gets 10 years in prison for stealing clothes for warmth

BRANCH COUNTY — A homeless man will serve up to 10 years in prison for breaking into a garage last November and stealing clothes to stay warm.

Terry Krumwiede, 31, was sentenced to 1.5-10 years in prison after breaking into a garage Nov. 13.

Krumwiede also admitted he possessed methamphetamine when he was arrested in December.

As a second offender, Circuit Judge Bill O’Grady sentenced him Monday, March 5, as a second offender to 18 months to six years in prison for larceny in a building. He will serve 18 months to 10 years for possession of meth.

The Indiana native came to Michigan three years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He lost his kitchen manager’s job and ended up homeless and using meth.

Prosecutor Zack Stempien said Krumwiede was sentenced to 10 months in February 2022 for drug possession.

“He was only out for a few months before he committed this new crime.”

The owner of a home near the Ponderosa Restaurant dumpster where Krumwiede put up a tarp, found his Van’s Avenue garage broken open.

Out on bond after his arrest, in November, Krumwiede was arrested for causing a disturbance at a Coldwater restaurant. He was arrested for possession of meth.

Public defender Terri Norris said Krumwiede does well, but then friends get him drugs.

Norris argued for 12 months jail and then send Krumwiede to a drug treatment program.

“My client has a drug addiction. Through my 20 years in the court system, I would have to say Mr. Krumwiede is probably one of my best candidates for rehabilitation,” she said.

Zack Stempien
Zack Stempien

Stempien said Krumwiede had four prior felony convictions. These cases add two more.

“It's not OK ever to break into somebody's property to steal things for yourself.”

“I think given the right tools and accessories I can better my life. I fell on hard times when I got out of the army," Krumwiede said.

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O’Grady learned Krumwiede was discharged in 2012 for using medical marijuana.

“Why should the state of Michigan rehabilitate you? You’ve only been here for three years. You've done nothing but disrupt this community.”

— Contact Don Reid: dReid@Gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DReidTDR.

This article originally appeared on Coldwater Daily Reporter: Homeless man gets up to 10 years for stealing clothes for warmth