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Madison Heights

January 16, 2013

Police capture trio of tire thieves

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

MADISON HEIGHTS — A Detroit man is facing a felony charge after he and two juvenile accomplices were caught stealing tires off a car.

Cuong Pham, 21, was arraigned Jan. 1 by Magistrate James Brennan inside the Madison Heights Police Department, due to the holiday. He was charged with larceny from auto, a five-year felony, and/or a $10,000 fine, and released on payment of a $1,500 personal bond.

His accomplices, a 16-year-old Madison Heights resident and a 16-year-old Westland resident, will face charges as juveniles in Oakland County Circuit Court.

At press time, their relationship to Pham was unknown.

The incident occurred in the neighborhood at Parliament and Couzens, around 1:45 a.m. Dec. 30, 2012. It followed a rash of vehicle break-ins and auto thefts in the area.

“It’s not suspected, at this point, that they’re tied to the other auto-related crimes, but it’s being investigated,” said Madison Heights Police Lt. Corey Haines.

A resident in the neighborhood near the intersection called police, regarding a larceny in progress. Police responded and observed a trio of Asian males surrounding the passenger side of a 1997 Honda Accord parked in the street, on the southeast corner of Parliament and Couzens.

When they attempted to intervene, the three suspects turned and fled the area on foot. A perimeter was promptly established and the K-9 unit deployed.

The dog located Pham and one of the juveniles. One suspect was on the ground next to the garage of a home in the 1300 block of Maureen; the other was hiding under a car in the driveway of a home in the 28000 block of Couzens. Once caught, both cooperated.

As for the third suspect, an officer sitting on the perimeter spotted him walking down the middle of the street in plain sight. He was quickly identified as one of the possible suspects, and he, too, cooperated with the officers.

The victim in the crime is a 28-year-old Madison Heights man who owns the Accord. Police located the suspect vehicle, a 1996 Acura Integra, a short distance down the street at the scene, and they found the Accord’s two missing tires stashed in the trunk.

“We appreciate the caller who saw this incident occurring and, instead of trying to intervene and do anything that could cause himself or someone else harm, he called us,” Haines said. “We were able to arrive quickly and see the suspects committing the act, and were able to subsequently track them down and take them into the custody.

“Truly, without the assistance of this caller, we wouldn’t have been able to capture these suspects,” he said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at akozlowski@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1104.