Crime briefs of the year in Sterling Heights

Sterling Heights Sentry | Published January 17, 2022

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Here’s a look back at some of the most interesting and bizarre local crime briefs from 2021:


Man yells at Macy’s workers
STERLING HEIGHTS — During the morning of March 7, at Lakeside Mall, 14000 Lakeside Circle, police talked to a person who was near the worker entrance of Macy’s, allegedly yelling at Macy’s employees. According to police, the man reportedly also had been bothering an employee who was inside her vehicle. 

Police reported that the man thought he “owned Lakeside Mall.” Police told him that he had to leave the mall, and he did.


Dozens of drivers do doughnuts in mall lot
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police said they heard that about 30-50 cars were doing doughnuts the night of March 20 in the parking lot at 14600 Lakeside Circle, near JCPenney. 

Lakeside Mall security reportedly asked the vehicles to leave, and although some vehicles apparently ignored the warning, most of them stopped doing doughnuts and ended up leaving toward Hall Road, police said. When police arrived, they reportedly didn’t see any traffic violations or any vehicles doing doughnuts in the lot. 


K-9 finds auto theft suspect in compost container
STERLING HEIGHTS — In an April 6 Facebook post, Sterling Heights police said they recently went to the 8000 block of Cherrylawn Drive, near 17 Mile and Plumbrook roads, to investigate the case of a vehicle that reportedly had been stolen. 

Under the care of Officer Ryan Braathen, K-9 Groot reportedly found bottles of liquor, car keys and a suspect’s scent. 

The dog later found a compost container containing the suspect, who was then arrested, police said.


Someone defecates outside gas station
STERLING HEIGHTS — On April 9, staff at a gas station in the 13500 block of 14 Mile Road, near Schoenherr Road, reported that someone made the place an outdoor pit stop by pooping there. 

When police arrived, they at first couldn’t find any suspicious people or vehicles, but they noticed excrement and urine in the parking lot’s northwest section. 

Police said a witness noticed a suspicious red Chevrolet in that area, and a person reportedly “ducked below the window” at the time.


Police catch naked running man
STERLING HEIGHTS — The morning of April 11, police went to the area of Viceroy Drive and 15 Mile Road after hearing about a man running around naked. 

They reportedly ended up finding him at Nelson Park and concluded that he “did not appear in a right state of mind,” though he allegedly said he hadn’t taken any illegal substances. 

Police apprehended him and took him to a hospital.


Attacked man declines treatment, wants beer
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police reportedly went to the 35300 block of Dodge Park Road, north of 15 Mile Road, to investigate an assault the night of April 25. Police said they saw a man who smelled of intoxicants who was holding an ice pack on his swollen right eye. The man reportedly declined medical treatment, and police used Google Translate to communicate with him.

The man reportedly said someone had hit him in the face somewhere in Detroit, but he reportedly declined to press charges. He then allegedly told police that he planned to drink beer and go to bed.  


Customer threatens to beat worker’s face
STERLING HEIGHTS — On April 25, workers at an auto parts store near Van Dyke Avenue and Utica Road told police that a customer reportedly had threatened to “beat the employees’ faces in” and wanted to know the store’s closing time so he could meet up with them. 

The suspect reportedly left the premises, but he called the business while police were learning the details. Police reportedly heard the suspect insult the employee and say that he “wants his face beat in by me.” In response, the employee was professional and told him to have a good day, police said. 

Although police said the worker initially didn’t want to pursue charges, the worker later called police and told them that the customer was still calling repeatedly. Police said they texted the customer to stop or else face criminal charges. The customer then stopped, police said.


Police warn man asking people for beer
STERLING HEIGHTS — Just after 11 p.m. May 21 along Van Dyke Avenue, near 15 Mile Road, police said they learned that a man in his 50s was walking around in a parking lot, allegedly confronting people and asking them for beer. 

When police found him outside and spoke to him, they reportedly told him he had to stay indoors if he wanted to drink. Police said he got the message, and the incident ended there. 


St. Clair Shores police track speeding Jeep to Sterling Heights
ST. CLAIR SHORES — At 2:36 a.m. June 4, an officer was observing traffic in the area of eastbound I-94 and Frazho Street when a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee approached the officer from behind at a high rate of speed, passing the patrol car while traveling at 110 mph. The vehicle pulled over just south of the 12 Mile Road exit, but when the officer got out of his vehicle and began to approach the Jeep, the driver suddenly drove away. Police followed the vehicle through the red light as it turned left at 12 Mile Road and then made another illegal left turn to reenter westbound I-94 from 12 Mile. Police terminated the pursuit at 11 Mile Road but later saw the Jeep stopped at a red light on 10 Mile Road. The driver then began observing stop lights and posted speed limits, leading the officer along Ursuline and Paloma streets. Officers lost sight of the vehicle once more but were able to track the registered owner to an address in Sterling Heights. 

Sterling Heights police located the Jeep in the driveway of the home at 3:09 a.m. and observed that the hood was still hot. Its license plate had been replaced with an improper plate, and no one came to the door when police knocked. The registered owner, a 48-year-old Troy woman, had multiple warrants out for her arrest and a suspended driver’s license. The vehicle was towed away from the home. 


Man uses fitness club without permission
STERLING HEIGHTS — The owner of a fitness club in the 5700 block of 15 Mile Road, near Mound Road, told police that a nonmember was using the building after closing time July 17 without authorization and when no staff members were in the building. 

Based on surveillance footage, the owner said, the suspect sneaked in and used the building multiple times that week, pretending to try to enter the building by scanning a key fob and then entering when a real member used a genuine key pass to get inside. Police found the suspect and told him he had to leave and that he would be arrested upon return. The suspect reportedly said he understood. 


Caller reports missing headphones, KFC
STERLING HEIGHTS — At around 4:50 p.m. July 17, a resident from Lakeside Circle reported that personal possessions were stolen from his room. 

The items listed were headphones and a KFC chicken meal, the latter of which had been in his fridge. Moments later, the caller told police that the issue had been resolved. 


Man hugging tree taken to hospital
STERLING HEIGHTS — A man in his 40s was allegedly chucking objects at vehicles just after 3 p.m. Sept. 5 near the Kroger at the intersection of Dequindre and 18 Mile roads. Police said they found the man hugging a tree, yelling and speaking incoherently about his father. The man thought he was in Shelby Township or Utica, and he wore a hospital wristband, police said. Officers apprehended him and reportedly found trash, twigs and rocks in his pockets. Police said they then took him to the hospital. 


Market pitted against shopper over fruit
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police arrived at a supermarket in the 3800 block of 15 Mile Road, near Ryan Road, the morning of Sept. 26 upon hearing that a customer was being disorderly and was trespassing. 

Police said a manager said the shopper saw a couple of moldy dates and started getting mad, yelling and causing a scene. The customer reportedly wasn’t leaving, despite being asked to do so more than once, so staff reportedly escorted him out. However, he reportedly still wasn’t leaving the parking lot. 

Police found the man and said he told them he hadn’t been yelling at workers, but he insisted that the workers had yelled at him when he informed them about the dates. Police told him not to shop there because he will be arrested if he ever goes back. The man reportedly understood and complied.


Cousins fight at bank
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police went to a bank in the 13000 block of Lakeside Circle Oct. 25 after hearing that a woman and her cousin had been fighting.

The cousins were reportedly there because one owed the other money. However, one of the cousins reportedly didn’t want to exit her car, and the other allegedly grabbed the former’s sweatshirt and pulled her out. This escalated to one cousin punching the other in the face, police said. 

Police said neither cousin wanted to press charges, and they reportedly left in different vehicles.


Student vandalizes soap dispenser
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police went to Bemis Junior High School, 12500 19 Mile Road, after hearing Nov. 4 that a student allegedly had been involved in “ripping a bathroom soap dispenser off the wall.” The school said such soap dispenser vandalism has been happening recently due to a TikTok trend.

The school reportedly suspended the student, who, according to school officials, may have been responsible for other such incidents, too. 

Police said they also learned that school security reportedly had caught the suspect “emptying out a soap dispenser.” The school was contacting the student’s mother to arrange restitution, police added. Police took no further action.


Ohio State fan gets punched
STERLING HEIGHTS — A man at a bar in the 36000 block of Van Dyke Avenue, near Metropolitan Parkway, was cheering for Ohio State while watching the football game against the University of Michigan Nov. 27 when someone reportedly punched him in the face and fled, police said. 

Police said the Ohio State fan refused medical attention, and when police arrived, neither victim nor suspect was there.