Arrests made after theft at tobacco shop

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 8, 2019

ROCHESTER HILLS — Two men were arrested and a third was on the loose after allegedly stealing items from a tobacco shop early in the morning Jan. 4.

“It was a good job by the midnight deputies that made the traffic stop,” said Capt. Michael Johnson, of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office’s Rochester Hills substation. “They were in the right place at the right time and saw something that they thought was suspicious.”

Deputies were in the area of Rochdale Drive and Walton Boulevard at 1:56 a.m. when they saw a subject running from a nearby strip mall and enter a dark-colored sedan, which then sped away.

Deputies followed the car and initiated a traffic stop, but when the vehicle came to a stop, the front seat passenger fled on foot.

While investigating the driver — a 21-year-old man from Sterling Heights — and a second passenger — a 39-year-old man from Romulus — deputies received confirmation that an alarm had been triggered at Wild Bill’s Tobacco, 1416 Walton Blvd., located in the strip mall from which the suspects had just been seen running.

Upon investigation, deputies confirmed that the tobacco store had been burglarized, along with an adjoining business under construction.

“They broke into the under-construction business and then went through the wall to get into the tobacco shop,” Johnson said. “The damage is not real significant — a broken window, drywall, that kind of thing.”

While speaking with the driver and back seat passenger, deputies observed property inside the vehicle consistent with items taken from the tobacco shop. The stolen items — approximately $500 in cash and around 30 cartons of cigarettes, according to deputies — were recovered, and the vehicle was impounded.

Both subjects were taken into custody and lodged in the Oakland County Jail. At press time, deputies had not located the third subject, although they were able to obtain the identity of the 35-year-old man from Sterling Heights.

Detectives are actively continuing the investigation, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.