PORTAGE, Mich. — A man is facing federal charges after investigators say drops of his blood left at a crime scene helped them identify him as a suspect.
In August 2018, the Helzberg Diamonds store on Westnedge Avenue in Portage was robbed by three people who entered the store, told employees to get on the ground and tried to break into the glass showcases with a small sledgehammer.
Two of the suspects eventually broke through the glass and reached through to grab jewelry inside before taking off with $80,179 in merchandise.
Investigators found drops of blood inside the store and on the sledgehammer that was left behind and sent samples to the Michigan State Police crime laboratory. The results led authorities to Manley, who allegedly admitted to robbing the store, as well as another one in Lansing.
Authorities say he was involved in other smash and grab robberies in Lansing, Saginaw, Kalamazoo and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
He is facing a charge of interfering with commerce by robbery, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
Investigators say “smash and grab” robberies are common in the jewelry industry, and that a Detroit-based crew is responsible for incidents from last August to the present throughout 12 states.