Tire thief sentenced to 1 year

A Muskegon man has been sentenced to a year in jail in connection with the theft of tires from vehicles at a Spring Lake Township dealership.
Becky Vargo
Feb 4, 2014

“I would have thought he would have gotten more,” said Larry Draeger, owner of Draeger Motor Sales, 15015 Cleveland St. “A year doesn’t seem like enough time for the crime.”

Timothy Alexander Ciani, 27, was credited for 81 days already served when he was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court. He was also ordered to pay $2,200 in restitution, as well as fines and costs.

The sentence will be concurrent with one Ciani is already serving from Muskegon County, said Ottawa County Judge Ed Post. Ciani was sentenced there last fall to a minimum one year, four months up to 15 years in prison. He's been a resident of the Carson City Correctional Facility since Oct. 7, 2013.

Charges in Muskegon County were three counts of larceny from a motor vehicle, one count of larceny of $20,000 or more and one count of weapons-firearms (short-barreled shotgun). Those charges evolved when Ciani and two other men were caught with a pickup truck full of new tires and rims in the Whitehall area on July 3, 2013. A motorist passing the Don Rypma dealership early that morning noticed cars sitting on blocks with the tires gone and notified police.

This was just two days after a similar incident was discovered at Draeger Motor Sales in Spring Lake Township. Draeger said he believes the publicity generated following the incident at his business and at a Ravenna business raised awareness of the crimes, leading the motorist to notice the missing tires at the Whitehall location.

Officers used tracking dogs to round up a third suspect.

The other two men — Wayne William Rankin, 28, of Ypsilanti; and Steven Christopher Denman, 36, of Spring Lake — were charged with larceny of more than $20,000. They are serving a sentence of at least one year in prison as well.

Police said all three men had connections to southeast Michigan.

“It was a large ring that got mine,” Draeger said for a previous story. “The people that did mine were well-practiced.”

Draeger said the thieves propped the cars up on blocks of wood. They used a motorized wrench to remove lug nuts from 14 cars, but must have been spooked because tires were taken from only six cars.


Say no to new taxes

Mr. Drager is correct, a year is nothing. The guy has prior convictions, including a gun charge. Who knows what would have happened if they were caught in the act?

Former Grandhavenite

I've always wondered why thugs from crime ridden larger cities like Detroit and Chicago don't just go on road trips to more rural areas where nobody locks their doors. Unfortunately they seem to be catching on now.

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