ESCANABA - A safe reported stolen a month ago from a Bark River area home turned out to be a Pandora's box for the owner after it was recovered by police this week.
A Bark River man reported a breaking and entering of his home on the evening of Aug. 9 to the Delta County Sheriff's Department. Taken from his residence was a 200-pound safe. He told deputies the locked safe contained a rifle, muzzleloader, two knives, a rangefinder and a collection of silver dollars.
Early Wednesday, deputies recovered the safe during a stakeout. The safe was still locked and, when eventually opened, revealed the contents reported stolen as well as a surprise: almost a pound of marijuana and about $500 in cash, said sheriff's Det. Lt. Mike Gierke.
"It was obvious the alleged victim did not think we were going to be tenacious enough to recover the safe," Gierke said. On the other hand, the victim likely thought the contents would be gone if the safe was ever recovered, Gierke added.
After receiving a tip, deputies located the safe Tuesday. It had been dumped in the woods about a mile from the Bark River man's home, Gierke said.
Deputies decided to stake out the site later that night. Around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, two men came to the location with a pickup truck, loaded the safe in the vehicle and drove off, Geirke said. In less than a minute, deputies were attempting to stop the driver. Following a short chase, a suspect was apprehended.
Joseph Henderson, 21, Gladstone, has been arrested and lodged in the county jail. He was arraigned in Delta County District Court later Wednesday and charged with home invasion, Gierke said.
While the safe was in police possession, a K-9 drug dog detected the scent of drugs on the safe, Gierke said. A search warrant was immediately requested and authorized, the detective said.