Subway case moves forward

ESCANABA – On Nov. 4-5, a Wisconsin man will be going to trial for allegedly breaking into safes at two Subway restaurants in Escanaba last year. The trial date was set in Delta County Circuit Court Monday.

Brook Evan Grzelak, 51, of Green Bay, is charged with five counts relating to the Dec. 12, 2012, burglary of the Subways at 536 N. Lincoln Road and 2311 Ludington St.

Grzelak is accused of two counts of safe breaking, two counts of breaking and entering a building with intent, and one count of possession of burglar’s tools. Each safe-breaking count carries a maximum sentencing of life in prison. The remaining charges are each a 10-year felony.

Grzelak allegedly broke into the two businesses during the early morning hours, broke into a safe at each location, stole money and checks from each safe, and fled, according to testimony presented during his preliminary hearing in district court last month.

Investigation into the break-ins led Escanaba Public Safety to warn police agencies in the Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin of the potential threat for additional burglaries at Subway restaurants.

Earlier that night, an Escanaba police officer on patrol ran a license check on a suspicious vehicle parked behind a business on Lincoln Road, blocks away from both Subways. The van was registered in Grzelak’s name.

Acting on this information supplied by Escanaba police, Ashwaubenon Police Department in Wisconsin arrested Grzelak on a probation violation. Officers searched his vehicle and found evidence allegedly linking him to the Escanaba Subway burglaries. Evidence included checks made out to the local businesses.

Grzelak remains lodged in Delta County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.

He also faces criminal charges in Wisconsin for similar allegations and is suspected of being linked to Subway burglaries in at least five other states, said police.