Departments work together to apprehend armed robbers

By: K. Michelle Moran, Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published September 26, 2012

EASTPOINTE — Police officers in Eastpointe, Roseville, Harper Woods, Detroit and Grosse Pointe Shores worked together to apprehend three armed robbers just after midnight Sept. 20.

Eastpointe police were dispatched to the Sunoco at 25000 Gratiot at 11:20 p.m. Sept. 20 for an armed robbery that had just occurred at the gas station.

“The victim was able to provide responding officers with a description of the suspects and get the plate number of the vehicle as it fled the parking lot north on Gratiot,” said Lt. Dave Ernatt of the Eastpointe Police Department. “We put the information out, and a short time later, the vehicle was observed by officers from the Roseville Police Department.”

Roseville spotted the vehicle at Gratiot and Martin, and attempted to pull it over but was unable to.

“The vehicle fled heading south on Gratiot and into Detroit, disregarding police lights and sirens,” Ernatt added. 

Eastpointe officers continued the pursuit through Detroit, where Detroit officers became involved, to Eight Mile and Van Dyke, before heading east and eventually reaching Grosse Pointe Shores, where officers from the Grosse Pointe Shores Police Department were waiting, having been alerted to the chase by the Harper Woods Police Department.

Shores officers set up a spike strip and one of the Shores officers moved his vehicle to block the Lake Shore and Vernier intersection. The police report indicated that the suspects’ vehicle, a tan Chevrolet Cavalier, lost control after running over the spike strip, hitting the curb and a tree in the intersection. In an email, Shores Public Safety Director John Schulte said the spike strips deflated both front tires of the car.

When the vehicle came to a stop, the driver fled on foot while the two other men involved in the incident remained in the car. Eastpointe and Shores officers arrested the two men while other officers pursued the suspect that fled on foot.

Police were able to apprehend the driver near Osius Park on Lake St. Clair moments later. They said his jeans got caught on the fence, and they had to free him. They also said the driver had tossed cash and a wallet over the fence and inside Osius Park, which police recovered. Schulte said the cash was stolen during the robbery. The driver was searched and arrested, police said.

The report stated that police found a semiautomatic Glock  handgun in the vehicle during a search; this is the weapon police said they believe was used in the robbery.

Shores officers assisted their Eastpointe peers in blocking traffic to look for additional evidence or weapons that might have been discarded by the suspects, and Shores officers then cleared the scene.

Schulte praised the work of the officers from both departments.

“This incident and the arrest of these three dangerous felons demonstrated great team work,” Schulte said by email.

Shores Detective Sgt. Scott Rohr said the spike strips aren’t deployed often, but in cases like this one, they can be invaluable tools.

“(The equipment) worked the way it’s supposed to,” he said. “A successful stop of a fleeing felon without injury to the officers or the suspects, or the public at large, is (the best possible outcome).”

The police have not released the suspects’ names pending an arraignment in 38th District Court on Sept. 21, but described them as three males between the ages of 16 and 22 years old and hailing from Brownstown Township, Flat Rock and Woodhaven.