Suspect in LO’s Sagebrush purse theft arrested, charged

By Jim Newell

Lake Orion Review Editor

The Lake Orion Police Department identified and arrested a man suspected of stealing an employee’s purse at Sagebrush Cantina in downtown Lake Orion on Oct. 25. And the man himself tipped police off when he called and asked why his picture was on the news.

Leonza Lafayette Tipton III, 48, of Oxford Township, was arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 30 before 52/3 District


Court Magistrate Karen Holt on one count of Larceny in a Building, a four year felony, and one count of Defrauding an Innkeeper, a 90-day misdemeanor, Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh told The Review editor on Oct. 30.

Bond was set at $5,000, no 10 percent cash surety. Tipton’s next court appearance is scheduled for today (Wednesday) 1:15 p.m., Judge Nancy Carniak in the 52/3 District Court.

Tipton reportedly entered Sagebrush Cantina on Broadway Street around midnight on Oct. 25. About 2:07 a.m., an employee was finishing her shift and set her purse on the bar while completing some tasks.

Tipton was captured on surveillance video taking the purse from the bar into the men’s room where he allegedly took money from the purse. He then left the restaurant without paying his bill, according to police.

The purse was found in the restaurant.

Surveillance images of the suspect were shared on the Lake Orion Police Department Facebook page and in the media on Oct. 28, requesting information on the identity of the suspect.

Tipton then allegedly called the dispatch center later that evening, providing his name and asking, “Why is my picture being plastered all over the news for something that happened at Sagebrush?” Narsh said.

Tipton left his telephone number with the dispatch center and investigators tried to reach him but he would not return calls. On Oct. 29, Tipton reportedly turned himself in at the Lake Orion Police Department and admitted to the crimes.

Originally published on Nov. 6, 2019


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