The saga of Elijah/Norman appears to be over, at least as it touches on this community. Yesterday evening, undercover Southfield police arrested him when he was picking up dinner at one of the local kosher pizza shops.
Lesley and I, along with our neighbors and respective rabbis, had been deliberating whether to alert the authorities. By the way, while I have not finished reading it yet myself, you can read a great analysis of the halacha of reporting a Jew to secular authorities here. A few factors led us to the conclusion that we had to stop this guy. First, his fiancee, Bonnie, had left a threatening message on Anne's voicemail. Bonnie was rather upset that Anne and Anne's friend had been slandering Elijah/Norman's good name. Also, I pulled Elijah/Norman's arrest report from the Plymouth Township police department. His home invasion charge stemmed from breaking into an acquaintance's house with which he was familiar, specifically about where valuables were located. None of us wanted to risk coming home one day to find this guy in our house not knowing how violently he might react. The only thing deterring us was that, based on that voicemail and things Elijah/Norman said to other people, we thought he knew we were on to him and that he would just slink away. On the other hand, if we reported him, we had no idea how Bonnie, who has a severe case of bipolar disorder and probably had no idea what scum he was, would react.
Meanwhile, as we and our neighbors deliberated about reporting Elijah/Norman to his parole officer, merchants within the local Jewish community had been talking about this guy who was writing bad checks all over the place. The police told a neighbor who was at the arrest that they suspect him of defrauding, using bad checks and credit cards he ordered in Bonnie's name, stores all over the metropolitan Detroit area to the tune of $14,000. The one local establishment that Elijah/Norman had not cheated was the pizza store, but the owner, who remembered him, became aware yesterday morning of his spree. Yesterday afternoon, he called to place an order. The owner called the police, who sent undercover officers to arrest him. While another companion went into the store and the owner stalled her, police pulled Elijah/Norman from his car and arrested him. Bonnie apparently had a total meltdown. There is no indication whether Bonnie and the companion got their dinner.