Fake fire inspector could get life for thefts from gas stations

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A phony fire inspector who was busted for allegedly stealing cash and weapons from local business could spend life behind bars for the crime.

Shawn Ellison has made some bad choices in life, the most recent one may cost him his freedom. Police say he posed as a Detroit firefighter and stole thousands of dollars from one Detroit gas station and a pistol from another.

The 45 year old man was in court Thursday afternoon for his arraignment. On June 2nd at 8 am, Ellison went into a gas station at State Fair and John R, posed as a fire extinguisher inspector, and that he came to check the equipment.

The clerk let Ellison behind the secure counter. Later in the day, the employee realized his firearm was missing.

A little more than a month later, on July 12, Ellison went to another business in the 4600 block of Woodward and claimed to be a fire inspector again.

He was allowed access, and later the employee noticed a large amount of cash missing.

Someone who tries to be this clever is not new to being a criminal. Something the judge pointed out, which means he could spend life behind bars.

"There is also an habitual offender fourth offense notice because of your prior convictions which could increase the sentence to life."

The judge set bond at $50,000 - 10 percent for each theft at those two gas stations. Ellison will be back in court on July 28th for a probable cause hearing and August 3rd for his prelim.