Scott Townsend listened when no one else would.
On Monday, the Fenton Police detective was rewarded for his efforts with a meritorious service award.
The Fenton City Council recognized Townsend Monday for his work in helping to solve a case in which an Argentine Township resident was scammed out of $356,000.
“I did it for the victim,” Townsend said. “No one would help him.”
Fenton Police Chief Rick Aro said he was proud of Townsend’s work on the case.
"I think it’s important to recognize police officers and dispatchers when they do a nice job,” Aro said. “If it went unrecognized, the would still do a good job, but this helps to give them a little more sense of satisfaction. They have to earn them. We don’t give them away.”
Said city manager Lynn Markland to Townsend at the meeting, “We really appreciate your work. It’s an honor to work with employees like yourself.”
Townsend investigated the case for nearly a year before David John Broecker pleaded no contest to larceny to false pretences on March 23, 2010.
Police said Broecker told the victim he had a stainless steel company to provide for the victim’s manufacturing plant. Police added Broecker had said all he needed was funding. The two had known each other from past sales, police said, but Broecker received the payments without providing the product. Townsend said most of the transactions occurred at the State Bank inside VG’s and he felt it was his duty to explore the incident. Between April 2008 and January 2009, the victim paid Broecker $356,000, Townsend said.
“All he did was con people and cheat them out of their money,” said Townsend, who added the Broecker had other similar incidents on his record.
Townsend said the victim had contacted a couple of other police departments, but didn’t get a response.
He investigated the case and Broecker’s background for several months and was able to put together a case, before he was part of a team to arrest Broecker.
“I wanted to do the right thing,” Townsend said. “The victim probably won’t get his money back, but at least he gets a little closure with Broecker behind bars, where he belongs, and he won’t beat able to scam anyone else for several year.”
Townsend said it’s the longest he’s ever worked on a case that ended with a charge in court.
“It feels great,” he said. “Our goal is to protect people, the award is just a bonus.”