FLINT (WWJ) - Five people have been charged in connection to a string of burglaries in Genesee County that occurred over the past three months.
The ring leader, 31-year-old Tony Jay Zelenka of Flint, is charged with nineteen counts of second degree home invasion, a 15-year-felony, and three counts of first degree home invasion, a 20-year felony.
Zelenka’s girlfriend, 47-year-old Donalee Kay Komarowski-Ward of Flint, is charged with eight counts of second degree home invasion and one count of first degree home invasion.
Komarowski-Ward’s son, 25-year-old Daniel Komarowski, is also charged with one count of second degree home invasion.
According to police reports generated by eight separate police agencies, at least 22 homes throughout Genesee County were broken into between April 12 and June 14.
According to the police reports, a variety of items and money were stolen in the townships of Clayton, Davison, Flint, Flushing, Grand Blanc, Montrose, Mundy and Richfield. Investigators say the trio would steal items from homes and then trade them for drugs.
“Based on what we know from the investigations, it appears the string of burglaries were done to support a heroin addiction,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in a release.
Leyton said the group is also suspected in a number of burglaries in Saginaw County as well.
Two individuals have also been charged related to the delivery of heroin and cocaine to Zelenka and Komarowski-Ward.
Police say 41-year-old Willie Lee Jones of Flint is charged with one count of safe breaking and two counts of drug delivery and his accomplice, 42-year-old Dennis Wayne Leonard, of Grand Blanc, is charged with safe breaking and possession of burglary tools.
According to police reports, 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.
“We have seen a comeback of the heroin trade in our community,” said 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.”