Car chase leads to arrest of armed teen robbery suspects

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published June 22, 2022


HAZEL PARK/MADISON HEIGHTS — A tense situation at Best Buy in Madison Heights escalated quickly when two teens, armed with a gun, allegedly tried to escape with their stolen goods, leading police on a high-speed chase across multiple communities that ended in a crash.

Since the suspects are juveniles, their names will not be released, but police said that one is age 14 and the other is 16. Both are residents of Detroit.

The incident occurred shortly before noon on June 9, inside the Best Buy located at 32320 John R Road. The two suspects reportedly entered the store and approached the cellphone displays. Police allege that the suspects then forcibly removed three Apple iPhones from the display and began walking towards the exit. As they left the store, the 16-year-old suspect reportedly brandished a handgun to keep store employees at bay.

The suspects left the scene heading southbound on John R Road. A description of their vehicle — a blue 2010 Chevy Equinox — was put out on the radio. Royal Oak police broadcast that they saw the vehicle traveling southbound on Interstate 75.

The vehicle then exited at Eight Mile Road and drove around Detroit for a period of time before turning back north on the I-75 service drive. Police say the driver drove the vehicle recklessly, reaching speeds of 100 mph and disregarding red lights in an attempt to evade police.

The vehicle doesn’t belong to the suspects, but was registered to one of their family members. The high-speed escape came to an end when the suspects disregarded a red light at Nine Mile and John R roads in Hazel Park and struck several vehicles, including a Royal Oak patrol vehicle and a tanker trailer. No injuries were reported.

In addition to police from Madison Heights and Royal Oak, police from Hazel Park and Ferndale assisted in the incident. Some dealt with one suspect who surrendered immediately at the scene of the crash, while the other suspect attempted to run away and was captured by a Ferndale officer after a brief foot chase.

All stolen merchandise was recovered, along with a .38-caliber handgun — also stolen — and a BB gun resembling an AK-47 assault rifle. At press time, both suspects were being lodged at the Oakland County Children’s Village, pending review of the case by the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. The two juveniles could face felony charges for armed robbery, fleeing and eluding, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

In an email, Madison Heights Police Lt. Michael Siladke shared his thoughts on the situation.

“The Best Buy employees acted appropriately by being the best witnesses they could be, and did not confront the armed individuals. Police utilized communication resources and passed along the information that helped to coordinate with other jurisdictions,” Siladke said. “All of these actions led to the ultimate arrest of two suspects who clearly did not care about the public’s safety.”