Crime briefs of the year: 2016

C&G Newspapers | Published January 3, 2017


Here’s a look back at some of the most interesting and bizarre crime briefs from across C & G’s coverage area:


Dandelion distraction
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At approximately 7:31 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, a caller in the 46400 block of Hayes Road, near 21 Mile Road, reported seeing a man in a work coat and a knit hat crawling around in the grass. Police located the man and learned that he was just getting some young dandelion whites for his salad.


David doesn’t live here
CLAWSON — A resident living in the 800 block of Dreon Drive called police saying that an unknown man had been knocking on his door for about 20 minutes at 1 a.m. April 30 asking to come in. When officers arrived, they found what seemed to be an extremely intoxicated 23-year-old Royal Oak man who said he was there to see his friend David. The man didn’t know what street he was on. After blowing a 0.24 in a breath test, the officers found the man’s cellphone in the front yard and called his dad to pick him up.


Police: Drunken driver texted girlfriend that he was drunk 
TROY — Police stopped a 45-year-old Royal Oak man for erratic driving just after 1 a.m. May 8 on northbound Interstate 75, north of Long Lake Road. The driver smelled of alcohol but denied drinking. He reportedly told officers that he had been driving poorly because he was texting his girlfriend. He showed police his phone, and the last text the driver sent was “drunk,” according to police. The driver reportedly failed sobriety tests, blew a 0.14 on a breath test, and was arrested and charged with drunken driving, first offense.


Suspicious situation
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At approximately 4:29 p.m. Monday, May 16, a caller near 23 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue reported that there was a suspicious milk container on the ground by a gas station. Responding police verified that the container contained milk and disposed of it.


Woman gets high at Office Depot
ROYAL OAK — Police received a call from Office Depot, 30975 Woodward Ave., reporting that there was a woman passed out in the bathroom at about 9:54 p.m. May 23. 

According to police, it was determined that the woman had stolen a can of computer cleaner from the store and intentionally inhaled the contents in the restroom, causing her to pass out. Police and Fire department personnel responded to the scene, and the woman was transported to the hospital for treatment. Police said the case was under investigation and charges were being sought for retail fraud and use of inhalants.


Obscenity written on Town Hall grass
WEST BLOOMFIELD —  Officers were dispatched to West Bloomfield Town Hall at 5:20 p.m. May 24 after someone wrote an obscenity in weed killer on the front lawn. 

According to police reports, people who were part of the Oakland County Weekend and Weekday Alternative for Misdemeanants program were at Town Hall earlier that week performing work, and they were provided with weed killer. The weed killer reportedly destroyed the lawn, and the obscenity had to be covered. The case was turned over to detectives for investigation. Police said they had a suspect in mind but would not provide any further information. 


Irate mom ‘drop-kicks’ birthday cake
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Officers were dispatched to the Kroger at 4099 Telegraph Road at 2 p.m. June 11 on reports of a disruptive customer.

The manager said a woman came to the bakery section to pick up a special order “Batman vs. Superman” birthday cake. She was not satisfied with the decoration on the cake and went behind the bakery counter to attempt to fix it herself, according to a police report. 

Employees told her she couldn’t be behind the counter, and the woman responded by reportedly taking her cake back to the front counter and “drop-kicking” it. Cake was strewn around the bakery section, and the woman quickly left the store, kicking over a “wet floor” sign on her way out, according to the police report.

A witness said the woman threw the cake to the ground, stepped on it several times and yelled, “They f***ing ruined my 7-year-old’s birthday cake.”

Employees provided police with the woman’s contact information from the cake order form. They reached out to the customer, who said she was told by employees to go behind the counter, and she denied kicking the cake, saying it accidentally slipped out of her hand.


Don’t tailgate a cruiser
CLAWSON — An officer stopped a 19-year-old Ferndale woman after she rode his bumper shortly after 2 a.m. June 19 on East 14 Mile Road.

The officer said he was driving eastbound on 14 Mile Road when a Dodge Charger rapidly approached from behind. The officer wrote in the report, “The vehicle was so close to the rear bumper of my patrol car that I was unable to see its headlights.” After the officer changed lanes, the car accelerated past him. 

According to the report, after the officer stopped the driver, the woman said she didn’t notice he was in a semi-marked car and admitted to “tailgating badly.” It was determined the woman had a suspended license for impeding traffic in Hazel Park. The driver received tickets for driving with a suspended license, following too closely and no proof of insurance.


Cash stashed in diaper in purse stolen 
WEST BLOOMFIELD —  Cash was stolen from a purse in the 2100 block of Orchard Lake Road June 20. 

According to police reports, the 26-year-old victim told the police that she had placed $4,700 in cash in a diaper in her purse. When she went to work, she placed her purse on an open package of toilet paper in the breakroom. When she returned at around 4:30 p.m., the money was missing from her purse. The case was turned over to detectives. 


Specs, snacks stolen from vehicle
TROY — A man told police that seven pairs of glasses, a pack of cookies and an item he purchased at Nordstrom Rack were stolen from his black 2016 Audi while it was parked in the lot of Nordstrom Rack, 822 E. Big Beaver. Police said the theft occurred between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. June 29. 


Police squash after-party
CLAWSON — After receiving a call complaining about a loud party, officers lined up and ticketed dozens of young adults for underage drinking along with ticketing a homeowner for hosting a party where underage drinking took place.

Police received the call shortly before 1 a.m. July 5 and responded to the 300 block of Hendrickson Boulevard, where they noticed many parked cars and about 30 people in a backyard. According to the report, as the officers approached the house, one of the guests ran into the crowd yelling, “Cops,” and people started to scatter, running and hopping chain-link fences. Police said as the guests jumped the fence, the neighbor behind the house started yelling at the people to get out of her yard or she would kick their butts.

After observing many of the attendees drinking and seeing beer throughout the yard, officers divided the attendees between those 21 and older and those who were younger than the legal drinking age. Those in the younger group were given breath tests that registered between 0.077 and 0.164. They were all ticketed for being minors in possession of alcohol by consumption. 

After finding the 27-year-old resident, he was ticketed for having the party, to which he replied to the officer that “this was the after-party.”


After-party sequel
CLAWSON — At about 1:14 a.m. July 5, police were called away from the party with underage drinking on a report of a girl maybe age 12 or 13 screaming for her mother in the 200 block of Roth Boulevard. More than one 911 call came in from residents in the area who heard the girl scream.

When police found where the screaming was coming from, they discovered a 20-year-old Clawson woman in the bushes missing one shoe and one sock. According to police, she was unsteady, had slurred speech, was confused and was somewhat incoherent. The woman said she was attacked and tied up in the bushes, and police said her answers didn’t make sense. Police said she was wrapped up in vines that were in the bushes. According to police, the woman later admitted she had run from the Hendrickson Boulevard party and had fallen in the bushes.


Defendant pays court fees with fake cash
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Officers responded to the 48th District Court, 4200 Telegraph Road, July 13 on reports of a person attempting to pay a fine with counterfeit bills.

Officers found the woman, who owed $500, using multiple denominations of bills to pay her fee. But the clerk noticed that seven of the $20 bills presented felt strange to the touch, and they were revealed as counterfeit using a detection pen.

The woman claimed to have received the bills from her place of employment, where she works as a waitress, and she denied knowing they weren’t real. She was arrested and later was released pending further investigation. The case was turned over to the Secret Service.


Men brawl at apartments
FARMINGTON HILLS — A number of men attempted to flee the scene of a fight around midnight July 4 at Fairmont Parks Apartments.

About 10 men were reported to be in a fight on the apartment grounds, all because of a girl, allegedly.

Two vehicles were leaving the complex at a high rate of speed as police showed up. The vehicles were stopped, and the occupants had minor scratches on their arms and hands, along with blood splatters and torn clothing.

Officers learned that the men had attempted to break up the fight, but others became involved.

Officers were not able to find any other responsible subjects, and no one pressed charges.


Car damaged with food tongs
WEST BLOOMFIELD — A car was damaged after a person threw food tongs at it July 31. 

According to police reports, the 19-year-old victim said he was visiting a friend in the 6000 block of West Silverbrooke, near West Maple and Halsted roads, when the damage occurred. The victim said that he got into two verbal altercations, with a neighbor and with a 20-year-old man. After the second altercation, food tongs were thrown at the victim’s car. He reportedly didn’t see who threw the tongs, but he believed the 20-year-old man was the suspect. 

When police arrived, they documented a scuff and a chip in the paint on the right side of the hood. The police questioned the 20-year-old man, who said he did throw the tongs. The case was turned over to detectives.


Troopers free skunk
ROYAL OAK TOWNSHIP — Metro North Post Michigan State Police troopers were called out at around 8 a.m. Aug. 4 to the 21000 block of Glen Lodge for a report of a “savage” skunk.

What officers found was a skunk that had gotten its head stuck in a yogurt cup and was now running around in circles and spraying everything.

One trooper was able to use a wooden pole to distract the skunk while another ran up and gently grabbed the cup off the skunk, freeing it.

“The skunk took a quick look around, nodded in appreciation and left the area,” according to the Michigan State Police report.


Auto dealer swindled in $81,900 Maserati deal
TROY — The sales manager of Suburban Maserati of Troy, 1755 Maplelawn Drive, told police the business put an ad on the Auto Trader website Sept. 9 to sell a black 2014 Maserati. A buyer from Glenwood, Illinois, reportedly agreed to buy it for $81,900, provided a copy of his Illinois driver’s license and asked that the car be shipped to Illinois. 

Police said Bank of America approved the buyer for credit, and the car was shipped to the man Sept. 18. However, he told the shipper his street was too small for the truck to drop off the vehicle, so they decided to meet in a Wal-Mart parking lot two blocks away, where he took possession of the vehicle. 

Bank of America then contacted the sales manager and said the loan was fraudulent — the buyer had stolen someone’s identity to obtain the loan, according to reports. The dealership received a $1,020 check to pay the state sales tax, which employees suspect is a fraudulent check, according to a police report.


Disappointed crook?
GROSSE POINTE PARK — It’s likely that whoever took an Amazon box from the porch of a home in the 900 block of Berkshire Road around noon Sept. 12 is questioning that decision now. According to a police report, the crook got away with a CD, refrigerator filters and some oatmeal. If the suspect is apprehended, he or she would also be looking at felony charges. 


Woman flips bagel tray
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Sept. 16 at Tim Horton’s in the 35000 block of Harper Avenue, a woman allegedly came into the store to complain about a “soggy” hash brown she was sold. She demanded her money back, and employees complied with her request. However, the woman became unruly and flipped a tray of bagels, striking one of the employees. She left the scene in a red Saturn.


Campaign signs stolen
TROY — A man on Cheswick Drive, near Beach Road and Big Beaver Road, said his “Hucking Fillary” political signs have been stolen three times between Aug. 31 and Sept. 17. The man reported that a substance was poured on his lawn, killing the grass, and he received an anonymous letter protesting the signs.


Woman caught stealing, ‘huffing’
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Sept. 24, at Rite Aid in the 35000 block of Gratiot Avenue, a woman was lying on the bathroom floor screaming. Officers arrived to investigate the situation, but the woman, 27, locked the door and had a bottle of “duster” in her mouth.

Officers were told that the woman had stolen items from the store. The woman was finally arrested for retail fraud, at which point she told officers she didn’t remember her address, saying, “Sorry, I was huffing. I’m too high to remember.”


Ex-employee attacks former manager
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 11, at Sonic in the 40000 block of South Groesbeck Highway, a manager asked an employee to switch position and work the drive thru. The employee, 22, refused. The manager then called the general manager, who advised the manager to fire the employee based on repeated insubordination.

The manager then fired the employee, but she refused to leave the premises. The employee threw a plastic jar that hit the manager in the face, and then threatened to beat her up. The manager allegedly proceeded to pepper spray the fired employee. The employee then allegedly grabbed a tray, went outside and hit a Ford Fusion with it, then came back inside and hit the manager in the face. The employee was arrested for felonious assault.


Woman cuts man after he burns food
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 22, in the 22000 block of Foster, a woman told police that her male partner had allegedly burned a chicken and made her upset. She told him she would grab food at a restaurant instead, but he told her he would cook her another one. The woman allegedly grabbed a knife and advanced on the man. While defending himself, he allegedly suffered two lacerations. The woman, 33, was arrested for felonious assault.


Candidate for office reports finding dead fish on lawn
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At approximately 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8, a caller in the 4400 block of Lorraine Drive, near 25 Mile and Shelby roads, reported finding a dead fish on her lawn. She said she was a candidate running for office and believed that her opponent put it there and that it was a threat, according to


Pizza employee suspected of stealing lots of dough
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Nov. 18, at Jet’s Pizza in the 37000 block of Harper Avenue, the owner noticed that the final cash tally of the day was inadequate. After further inspection, the owner realized that an employee allegedly voided sales and pocketed cash. It’s alleged that the employee embezzled between $12,000 and $18,000 over an undetermined amount of time.


Fight ensues at health club over church deacon
TROY — Police were called to Lifetime Fitness, 4700 Investment Drive, just before 1:30 p.m. Nov. 28 on a report of two people fighting. 

According to a police report, a man and his friend were talking with a 43-year-old Clawson man about a deacon at the church they both attend and whom the 43-year-old said he does not like. Police said the conversation became heated, and one man tried to intercede as peacemaker, but the Clawson man allegedly punched him in the face repeatedly before they were separated. 

The victim had a large bruise under his left eye where the skin was broken, and he was bleeding and had several scratches on the left side of his neck, according to reports. The Clawson man was arrested and charged with assault. 


Manager steals money at sandwich shop
TROY — The day shift manager at the Jimmy John’s at 5373 Crooks Road told police he found a note in the cash register Dec. 15 reportedly from the night shift manager, a 24-year-old Troy man, saying he had resigned. The note also stated, “Tell Jimmy whaddup.” Police said $318 was missing from the safe, $46 was gone from the cash registers, and $83 was missing from the evening cash drop.