Harper Woods police arrest suspects in BB gun vandalism

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published December 3, 2018

 Keller

Keller

HARPER WOODS — The Harper Woods Department of Public Safety has arrested two suspects in connection to its investigation of dozens of car windows being shot out by a BB gun Nov. 19.

Investigators said that several suspects in a silver Ford Taurus drove through the streets of southwest Harper Woods and nearby Detroit neighborhoods shooting out numerous windows; at least 23 vehicles and the front door to one residence in Harper Woods were damaged.

“We had developed information about some suspects and began surveillance in Detroit. While our detectives were following up on that, it came to fruition and they found the vehicle they were looking for,” said James Burke, director of the Harper Woods Department of Public Safety.

Harper Woods detectives reportedly were able to determine through their investigation that the BB guns used by the suspects were stolen from a local Meijer store.

“We received some very solid information tying the suspects to the thefts of the BB guns,” Burke said. “The detectives took it from there, and it turned out to be great work. It’s great because it’s usually hard to solve this kind of case, because you can’t pull ballistics off BB guns.”

On Nov. 26, Harper Woods detectives conducting surveillance in Detroit located the silver Ford Taurus allegedly used in these crimes. Harper Woods detectives stopped the Taurus and arrested the two occupants.

“We had some information about what possible vehicle was involved during the incidents. The detectives were able to tie it all together,” Burke said. “This is a huge quality-of-life crime. That’s why they aren’t charged with 23 separate counts. It’s all considered an aggregate crime, although it’s still a serious crime that caused a lot of damage and aggravation to our residents.”

Two teens were charged in connection with the crimes. The first is 17-year-old Detroit resident Deshawn Keller, who was charged with one count of malicious destruction of personal property — $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a five-year felony; one count of felony firearm — pneumatic gun, a two-year felony; one count of possession of a loaded firearm in or upon a vehicle, a two-year high misdemeanor; and one count of malicious destruction of a building — less than $200, a 93-day misdemeanor.

He was arraigned Nov. 27 in 32-A District Court in front of Judge Carl Jarboe and was given a bond of $25,000 cash or surety. He has a preliminary examination date scheduled in 32-A District Court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19. He had not retained or been assigned an attorney prior to publication.

The second suspect is a 16-year-old juvenile from Detroit who was charged with one count of malicious destruction of personal property — $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a five-year felony; one count of felony firearm — pneumatic gun, a two-year felony; one count of possession of a loaded firearm in or upon a vehicle, a two-year high misdemeanor; and one count of malicious destruction of a building — less than $200, a 93-day misdemeanor.

As of Dec. 3, he was being held in the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility on a $10,000 cash or surety bond. His next legal hearing was not scheduled prior to publication.

Several similar incidents in which a BB gun was used to shoot out windows ocurred the same night in Detroit, but no additional charges have been filed against Keller and the other suspect in connection to those acts of vandalism.

Similarly, the windows of two Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation buses were shot out on Gratiot Avenue in Eastpointe and Roseville Oct. 15, but Burke said there is no evidence that the same suspects might have been involved.

“There’s no information linking this matter to the crimes on Gratiot,” Burke said. “There was a rash of similar incidents that took place at the same time in Detroit, but we haven’t seen any additional charges in regard to the Detroit attacks.”