BAY CITY, Mich. (CBS Local) — A Michigan couple who won a $500,000 lottery jackpot three years ago is accused of several home invasions across five counties.
Stephanie Harvell, 28, Mitchell Arnswald, 29, of Bay County were arrested Thursday following a burglary in Merritt Township, about 110 miles northwest of Detroit, MLive.com reported.
Investigators say they believe the couple have broken into homes in Bay, Tuscola, Midland, Saginaw and Arenac counties in a span of two months.
“I know they been into five different counties as well, but in Bay County we have had about 13 home invasions done by these individuals we believe,” Bay County Sheriff Troy Cunningham told WJRT.
Cunningham said the couple had an off-the-wall answer if a homeowner stopped them.
In 2016, the couple won half a million dollars playing the Michigan Lottery’s Hot Jackpot instant game. https://t.co/RxlAK7FdBg
— WNEM TV5 (@WNEMTV5news) September 3, 2019
“If they were discovered by somebody at the residence, they would say they were either looking for a dog,” he said. “I believe one time they said something about looking for some kids clothing.”
The couple won $500,000 in 2016 playing the Michigan Lottery’s “Hot Ticket” game.
Harvell told the lottery back then that she her husband, Arnswald, had been living paycheck to paycheck and she bought the scratch-off ticket at a Bay City gas station the same day she had received an eviction notice.
They also said they were planning to buy a house and a car with their winnings and set up college funds for their daughters, MLive.com reported.
Police are not sure what they did with their prize winnings.
“They must have gone through the money quick or something,” Cunningham told CBS affiliate WNEM.
Both Harvell and Arnswald face charges of second-degree home invasion and possession of burglary tools. They are each being held on a $50,000 cash bond.