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Madison Heights

January 23, 2013

Suspect arraigned in botched jewelry theft

By Andy Kozlowski
C & G Staff Writer

MADISON HEIGHTS — An Ohio man is facing felony charges after he tried robbing a jewelry store and crashed his getaway vehicle, injuring two innocent civilians.

However, his accomplice remains on the loose, and the two victims may not survive.

“They’re still in intensive care,” said Madison Heights Police Lt. Corey Haines at press time. “It could still be fatal.”

Breyan Fuqua, 19, of Lima, Ohio, was arraigned by Magistrate Kimberly Wilson in Madison Heights 43rd District Court on Thursday, Jan. 10.

He was charged with the following:

• Two counts of armed robbery, punishable by up to life in prison on each count.

• One count of receiving and concealing stolen property (motor vehicle), punishable by up to five years in prison, and/or a $10,000 fine or three times the value of the motor vehicle, whichever is greater.

• One count of reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function, punishable by up to five years in prison, and/or a $1,000 to $5,000 fine, and reimbursing the government for emergency response and expenses prosecuting the defendant.

• One count of failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment or death, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Fuqua is being held on $335,000 cash or surety bond.

As previously reported, the incident occurred early in the afternoon Jan. 7. Police say Fuqua and an accomplice entered the Jared Jewelers at 451 W. 14 Mile. When asked by an employee what they were looking for, Fuqua allegedly sprayed the employee in the face with pepper spray. He also allegedly sprayed a second employee close by.

While the employees, now OK, were temporarily blinded, the suspects each used hammers to try and break open different cases, one containing men’s jewelry, the other containing women’s. They did extensive damage, but failed to steal anything.

They fled in their 2007 Dodge Caravan — one stolen from a 38-year-old Warren woman out of the 32000 block of John R the evening of Jan. 6.

The employees called police and described the suspects and their getaway vehicle. While en route to the store, officers saw a vehicle matching the description traveling southbound on John R, approaching 13 Mile. 

Before the police could even complete their U-turn to try and catch up, the possible suspect vehicle crashed into the driver’s side of a red 2009 Chevy Impala traveling eastbound on 13 Mile and turning south onto John R. The two occupants of the vehicle, both Madison Heights residents, were severely hurt and transported to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. Both had numerous broken bones and other internal injuries.

“I want to be clear, though, this was absolutely not a police pursuit,” Haines said.

The suspects abandoned their vehicle and ran away on foot. Fuqua was reportedly spotted crossing John R on foot near LaSalle, the first block south of 13 Mile. Officers pursued him on foot and captured him in a nearby parking lot. Once captured, he didn’t resist any further, and was taken to the police station without incident.

“I applaud the officers who were on scene,” Haines said. “They did a fantastic job.”

The search continues for the second suspect, who is described as a black man standing 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 175 pounds, and possibly in his 20s. He was last seen wearing a red hoodie, a black jacket, and black shoes with red laces. The suspect is also said to have what appeared to be bad acne.

As for Fuqua, he is also charged with one count of larceny from person, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a previous incident in September 2012, when he and an accomplice allegedly entered the same jewelry store, pretended to be interested in making a purchase, and then forcibly snatched a watch from the clerk’s hand while filling out the paperwork for a purchase, running off with the watch.

Police do not believe Fuqua’s accomplice in the September incident is the same person from the most recent incident. Haines did say he found it interesting they struck the same location twice.

“I believe since they were confident that they got away with it the first time, they thought it was possible to get away with it a second time,” Haines said. “Also, the close proximity of the freeway, right on 14 Mile near I-75, provided more of an assurance in their minds, maybe, that they could get away.”

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