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Suspect on month-long run from police apprehended in Bellevue swampland

(Courtesy: Michigan State Police)

A Battle Creek man wanted for numerous break-ins around West Michigan is behind bars.

Michigan State Police troopers arrested 31-year-old Keith Worthington Thursday night. Worthington, who is suspected in several breaking and entering cases dating back to mid-April, had escaped authorities at least twice in the last week.

An off-duty Calhoun County Sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspect, along with a second suspect, 28-year-old Tiffany Denton, at Keehne Park in Bellevue around 6:40 p.m. on May 24th. When Michigan State Police troopers and Eaton County Sheriff’s deputies approached the couple, they fled into a wooded, swampy area near Butterfield Highway and Ionia Road in Bellevue.

With the assistance of a Michigan State Police helicopter and K-9 units, Worthington was eventually found in the swamp hiding under lily pads. Troopers navigated through "chest deep" water in two swamps to track down the suspect. Worthington was taken into custody around 10:15 p.m. Denton was spotted by a citizen near Pease Road and Love Highway. Eaton County Sheriff’s deputies arrested her around 10:20 p.m. Denton was turned over to Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, while Worthington is being held in Eaton County.

While state police have been investigating this case for weeks, they caught a break in their case on Tuesday, May 22nd when troopers with the Wayland Post responded to three daytime home invasions in Barry County. According to MSP, troopers recovered a stolen electronic device which lead them to a home on 11 Mile Road in Battle Creek. The address matched Worthington’s parole address.

A search of the home resulted in the seizure of several long guns and other stolen property, some of which was linked to MSP’s breaking and entering cases in Eaton County and Calhoun County, some dating back to April 11th.

According to state police, a K-9 unit suffered a minor laceration to his leg while tracking the suspects through the swamp areas.

Assisting on the manhunt were Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police, Eaton County Sheriff's Office, Bellevue Police Department, Olivet Police Department, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Bellevue Fire Department, who provided a boat to illuminate the search.

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