GENESEE COUNTY — Five people connected to a string of burglaries over the past three months have been charged by Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton on multiple counts.
At least 22 homes were broken into between April 12-June 14 throughout Genesee County, according to police reports from eight separate police agencies,
A variety of items and money were stolen in the townships of Clayton, Davison, Flint, Flushing, Grand Blanc, Montrose, Mundy, and Richfield, according to the reports. Investigations continue into burglaries in other communities that may be linked.
The ring leader, Tony Jay Zelenka, 31, of Flint, is charged with nineteen counts of Home Invasion Second, a 15-year-felony, and three counts of Home Invasion First, a 20-year felony.
His girlfriend, Donalee Kay Komarowski-Ward, 47, of Flint, is charged with eight counts of Home Invasion Second and one count of Home Invasion First. Her son, Daniel Komarowski, 25, of Flint, has been charged with one count of Home Invasion Second.
According to Prosecutor Leyton, these same individuals are suspects in a number of burglaries in Saginaw County as well.
“Based on what we know from the investigations, it appears the string of burglaries were done to support a heroin addiction,” Leyton said. The defendants would steal items from homes and then trade them for drugs, he said.
Two individuals have been charged related to the delivery of heroin and cocaine to Zelenka and Komarowski- Ward. Willie Lee Jones, 41, of Flint, is charged with one count of safe breaking and two counts of drug delivery. His accomplice, Dennis Wayne Leonard, 42, of Grand Blanc, is charged with safe breaking and possession of burglary tools.
Some of the stolen goods given to Jones and Leonard in exchange for drugs were kept in safes so the pair had to break into them to get the valuables inside, according to police reports.
“We have seen a comeback of the heroin trade in our community,” said Prosecutor Leyton. “As these cases today clearly show, drug addiction can leave a wake of destruction in its path that ripples throughout the community in so many ways and can affect countless numbers of innocent people.” — Rhonda Sanders