Macomb County crime briefs from the first half of 2019

C&G Newspapers | Published January 3, 2020

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Here’s a look back at some of the most interesting and bizarre local crime briefs from January to June:


Home’s noise just loud family
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police went to a home along 14 Mile Road Jan. 13 after hearing that a possible domestic situation or something suspicious was going on. However, police discovered that no arguments or danger had occurred, and family members were merely conversing loudly. The home’s occupants reportedly agreed to be quieter.


Man reports garage break-in
ST. CLAIR SHORES — On the evening of Jan. 17, police responded to the 27000 block of Larchmont Street after the 54-year-old homeowner reported that someone had broken into his home earlier that week.

The man said that he noticed Jan. 14 that his bedroom window screen had been cut and that someone had been in his garage. The man told police that someone had broken a window in his garage from the inside and used a utility knife to cut a chair. A table was missing and there was a human bowel movement on the garage floor when he first went in, he told police. He had cleaned up the mess and the glass before police arrived.


Fired fast food employee gets physical
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Jan. 18 at Burger King, 37746 Gratiot Ave., an employee called police and said a former employee who had been fired for stealing came back into the restaurant and accused the employee of snitching on him.

The former employee threw a cup of juice before attacking him. The suspect was being investigated for assault and battery.


Shoplifter drinks cough syrup
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police reportedly cited a suspect for retail fraud at a local Walmart Jan. 18 after the suspect allegedly took a bottle of cough syrup from a box and drank the medicine before placing the empty bottle in a gift bag and leaving.

The Fire Department arrived and sent the suspect to the hospital after he allegedly told police that he had drunk another bottle of cough syrup earlier that day.


Man with child, 4, steals shrimp, bacon, DVDs
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Jan. 23, at Target at 33860 Gratiot Ave., loss prevention observed a man, 27, place three DVDs, shrimp and bacon into his personal bag.

Prior to checkout, the suspect was approached and the property was recovered. He was released due to having his 4-year-old daughter with him. He was being investigated further for retail fraud.


Police see  driver hit tree
STERLING HEIGHTS — Early in the morning of Feb. 4, police saw a vehicle speed on Utica Road, fail at a braking attempt, lose control and hit a tree.

Police said the driver mentioned something about having had a few beers and getting back from a party. Police smelled alcohol, but they didn’t give sobriety tests or a preliminary breath test due to driver injuries, and emergency responders arrived to the scene. The driver reportedly gave permission to have blood drawn, and police were waiting for the results.


Patient assaults nurse
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Feb. 11, at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, 15855 19 Mile Road, a patient, 35, went in for flu-like symptoms and was given an IV by a nurse. The patient reportedly slammed the nurse to the ground and choked him. Others stepped in to separate the pair until police officers arrived and apprehended the patient for assault and battery.


Pants taken at gym
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — An officer was dispatched to 26 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue for a larceny report at approximately 4:35 p.m. Feb. 28. The caller stated that he went into his gym to work out between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Upon returning to his locker, he discovered that the lock was missing and his pants — which had contained his wallet, money and keys — had been stolen. He canceled his bank and credit cards.


Bowling balls, knives stolen from vehicle
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Officers responded to a call from the 20000 block of California Street the morning of March 2 after a 27-year-old man reported that someone had entered his vehicle overnight. The man said that at around 7:30 a.m., he noticed that the lock on his gate had been moved and the trunk to his vehicle was open. The man said he is unable to lock his vehicle. Two bowling balls and two knife sets were missing from the vehicle.


Suspect flees crash, hides in bushes
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police received tips March 7 about a driver passing out at the wheel near Mound Road and Metropolitan Parkway. A collision was then reported at Mound and 18 Mile Road, and someone allegedly had fled the accident scene, according to witnesses. The suspect description matched in both incidents, police said.

Police used a K-9 track to find the suspect hiding in a business’ shrubbery. Police said the suspect already had a warrant for his arrest, and they arrested him and cited him for driving but never acquiring a license, lacking proof of insurance, running a red light, driving while visibly impaired, failing to report an accident and fleeing an accident scene.


Man breaks gear shift on roommate’s car
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On March 8, two roommates were reportedly intoxicated and stopped at Little Caesars, 36648 Gratiot Ave. The pair argued to the point that things got physical. One of the suspects, 40, allegedly broke the gear shift on his roommate’s vehicle, disabling it. Police were called, and the man was arrested for malicious destruction of property.


Car stolen by hitchhiker
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to the 200 block of Riviera Drive at 10 p.m. March 11 after a 74-year-old man reported that his car had been stolen.

The man told police that he was in Detroit near Seven Mile and Hayes roads at around 9 p.m. when he saw two women hitchhiking. He picked up one of the women, who asked him to take her to Nine Mile Road and Harper Avenue. When they got there, he bought her some food from McDonald’s and took her to his home.

He told police that he went into his bedroom and when he came out, the woman had her hand in her pocket and told the man that she had a gun. She demanded money, but when he didn’t have any, she took his car keys and left.

Police were able to locate the man’s vehicle traveling on Nine Mile Road at Harper Avenue. When they initiated a traffic stop, they discovered that the 28-year-old woman driving the vehicle matched the suspect’s description. She was placed under arrest for armed robbery while stealing the vehicle.

Police said that the man later told them that he did not want to pursue charges because he had his vehicle back. The woman was ticketed for driving with a suspended driver’s license and turned over to Clinton Township police for outstanding warrants.


Woman assaulted
ST. CLAIR SHORES — At around 8 p.m. March 12, police were dispatched to Gaffke Park, 20300 Gaffke St., regarding an assault. A 19-year-old Roseville woman said that at around 6:45 p.m., she was picked up by a 20-year-old Clinton Township woman who she had not spoken to in about a year, and another man.

When they parked in the lot, the woman said that two people hiding in the trunk came out of the car and began to punch her, saying that she had been talking about their family. A woman in the trunk also pulled out a knife. All four then got back into the vehicle and drove away.

The victim declined to press charges.


Pickup crashes into 2 homes
ROSEVILLE — A suspect is in police custody for allegedly driving a black 2002 Chevrolet pickup into two homes in Roseville while intoxicated.

The incident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. March 16. Roseville Police Department officials said that the 39-year-old Warren resident who was driving and alone in the vehicle appeared to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when he crashed into two homes near Frazho Road and Belleair Street.

No one inside either of the houses was injured, according to police. A parked SUV outside one of the homes also was damaged; it was unoccupied at the time.

The driver was injured in the collision and was transported to a nearby hospital after emergency services arrived on the scene.

According to investigators, the pickup was headed westbound on Frazho, east of Belleair. The driver left the roadway, going south across Frazho, and struck the SUV parked in a driveway. The two homes were damaged after the collision with the SUV.

Investigators said charges were pending following the results of a blood test.


Man believes he bought game console, gets book
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On March 25, in the area of Metropolitan Parkway and Harper Avenue, a man reportedly came into contact with an online seller via a phone app.

The man was attempting to purchase a PlayStation console. He met with two individuals in the Family Dollar parking lot on Harper, paying them $225 for a taped-up box that allegedly contained the console.

The buyer opened the box to find only a book inside. Meanwhile, the suspects ran across the street to the parking lot of an apartment complex.


Items stolen from home, pawned while man in hospital
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On March 26, in the 19000 block of Broadacres Street, a man was reportedly in the hospital and gave his friend permission to go into his home to feed his dog.

When the man came home, he reportedly found his handgun, shotgun, iPhone, laptop, webcam, jewelry and multiple computer hard drives stolen. He suspected his friend of stealing the items and pawning them off at a shop.

Police were investigating the larceny.


Basketball game turns violent
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On April 1, at LA Fitness at 17500 Hall Road, a physical altercation allegedly occurred during a pickup basketball game. The game was reportedly down to the last point, when one man blocked another man’s shot and then was sucker punched and knocked unconscious. An employee reportedly saw the assault. The suspect, 26, was being investigated.


Police rescue driver from fiery car
STERLING HEIGHTS — Police were called to a serious injury accident on Dequindre Road, north of 17 Mile Road, at around 11:15 p.m. April 14.

Sterling Heights police officers Jim Sribniak and Wendall Potts reportedly found a red Dodge Stratus and a silver Chevrolet Traverse that had been involved in the accident, and the Stratus was on fire, with someone trapped inside.

Police added that the Stratus’ driver was unconscious and had been flung to the car’s passenger side. The car’s doors were locked, and an attempt to rescue the occupant by breaking a vehicle window didn’t work, police said.

Sribniak ended up forcing open the driver’s side door while Potts pulled the driver out of the Stratus while it was still on fire. Emergency rescuers then treated the driver, who was later hospitalized, police said.

Because the collision happened on Dequindre, a shared boundary between Sterling Heights and Troy, Troy police took over the investigation. According to Sterling Heights police, alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.


Customer irate over ranch dressing
STERLING HEIGHTS — A customer allegedly threatened employees at a restaurant on 15 Mile Road after midnight April 25. Police said the customer was mad because the restaurant didn’t offer ranch dressing for his order. After investigating, police concluded that the customer had not assaulted anyone, so he was ejected from the business but not charged with anything, the report states.


Man threatens to kill police, judge
FRASER — On April 30, the Fraser Department of Public Safety reportedly received multiple phone calls from a 47-year-old man.

The man, who is on the state’s sex offender registry, was reportedly upset due to the requirement of having to verify his address because of a prior conviction.

The man said he would never register again, and then said he was going to buy a gun, come to the Fraser DPS and kill everyone. Police said the man previously threatened to kill the judge who sentenced him, as well as the president. The man said that if police didn’t arrest him, he would start killing innocent civilians.

Detectives obtained a felony warrant for false report or threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony. The U.S. Marshal Fugitive Apprehension Task Force apprehended the suspect without incident. During processing, the suspect reportedly stated that prison is a better place for him.


Drunken driver crosses centerline multiple times
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — An officer on patrol observed a vehicle traveling on 22 Mile Road near Schoenherr Road that was swerving and crossed onto the centerline several times at approximately 2:35 a.m. May 2. The officer stopped the vehicle to investigate and reportedly could smell the odor of intoxicants emanating from the driver.

The driver admitted to having a shot and a beer earlier, police said. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and the driver was arrested for a second offense of operating while intoxicated. The driver then admitted to having four shots and a beer earlier, police said.


Man arrested with stolen earrings
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Just before noon May 11, police were called to a garage sale in the 22000 block of Avon Street after the 55-year-old homeowner reported that a pair of gold and diamond earrings had been stolen.

The woman said that a man, later identified as a 55-year-old from Eastpointe, was at her garage sale and asked if she had any jewelry to sell. She went inside and brought out some gold and diamond earrings and set them on the table. She then answered a question from another customer, and when she turned back, the earrings were gone. The woman confronted the man about the earrings, but he stated that he did not take the earrings and left in an older Chrysler minivan.

A short while later, police observed a minivan matching the suspect vehicle’s description on Jefferson Avenue near 11 Mile Road. The man stopped the vehicle and consented to a search by police. Officers found several pieces of jewelry, including the earrings in question. The man was cited for larceny and driving with an expired license.


Employee threatened, nearly struck by vehicle
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On May 15, at Hungry Howie’s at 20824 Hall Road, an employee called police and reported an incident involving a man and woman. The employee said a woman, 30, and a man estimated to be between 30 and 35 years old, walked in demanding their money back for a pizza they never received. The customer was told that the money could be refunded within a few days.

The woman allegedly told the employee she would pull her over the counter and assault her. The employee then walked outside to call her boss, at which point the two suspects allegedly raced around the lot in their SUV and were “no more than 2 feet” from hitting her.

Police were looking into the felonious assault allegation.


Argument leads to stolen necklace
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A woman came to the Police Department to report a larceny at approximately 9 p.m. May 23. The woman stated that between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. May 23, her child’s father came to her house to watch their child while she went out. Upon her return, they had an argument and he left.

The father later sent a text message that when he left the residence, he took back a Mother’s Day necklace that he had given to her. The father was contacted and advised to return the necklace or be prosecuted for the theft, according to the report. The necklace was returned, police said.


Man reports robbery by ‘actor’
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to the 28000 block of Little Mack Avenue the evening of May 26 after a 23-year-old man said that he had been robbed.

The man told police that he had hired a 28-year-old man from Detroit to act in his music video. The Detroit man was supposed to hand the St. Clair Shores man a wad of cash after knocking on the door for his part in the video. The St. Clair Shores man told police that he gave the Detroit man the money and closed the door, but the Detroit man never knocked. The St. Clair Shores man then discovered that the Detroit man had run off with his money.


Woman intoxicated with children in vehicle
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Officers were told to be on the lookout for a potential intoxicated driver at around midnight June 3. Police located the vehicle parked in the lot of CVS, 27700 Harper Ave., with vomit down the side of the outside door and three children in the back seat. The driver, a 33-year-old Detroit woman, told police that she just had surgery and was on medication and that she was sick from food, not from alcohol. She was also covered in vomit.

The woman failed several field sobriety tests, and a preliminary breath test showed that she was intoxicated over the legal limit. The woman was taken into custody on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, child endangerment, and also carrying a concealed weapon without a permit after she revealed to officers that she had a gun in her bra. A friend was able to come and retrieve the children.


Man arrested after attempting to steal saw
UTICA — The Utica Police Department was called to a local store for a 40-year-old Roseville man who police said had stolen an $800 miter saw at 11:30 a.m. June 3. The man fled when police confronted him; he reportedly ran into a police vehicle and fell to the ground. He allegedly struggled with police and was arrested for first-degree retail fraud and resisting and obstructing.


Man arrested after returning box with clay instead of purchased items
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On June 5, at the Apple Store at 17420 Hall Road, loss prevention told police that a suspect had been purchasing items and later returning boxes full of clay to receive store credit.

On that day, a man returned a box in its original wrapping. He was given a gift card totaling $848. Employees opened the box and found clay inside, causing the security officer to attempt to detain the suspect, 24.

The suspect, however, pushed the guard and scratched him. He was apprehended shortly thereafter. The suspect reportedly told police he recently arrived in the U.S. and has no family in the country. He did not possess a passport or a driver’s license.

The scheme had reportedly occurred in Novi, Ann Arbor and Troy.


Gun stolen by delivery person
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to the 22000 block of Downing Street June 7 after a 27-year-old man reported that his handgun had been stolen. The man told police that he always keeps the gun in his nightstand and knew it was there the night before. The man had just had a mattress delivered and noticed the gun missing, but the holster still present, immediately after the delivery people left.

The man said that he was friends with one of the delivery workers and was talking with him when the other delivery worker, a 23-year-old from Warren, was in the bedroom by himself.

Upon further investigation, police were able to locate the delivery workers parked in their van at Corteville Street and Jefferson Avenue. Police were able to locate the gun hidden in the passenger-side dash.

Both workers denied taking the gun, but one worker, the 25-year-old St. Clair Shores man who was friends with the victim, said he had been speaking with the victim the entire time, while the Warren man was in the bedroom by himself. He told police that the Warren man ran out to the van quickly while the other two men were speaking, then came back.

The Warren man denied taking the gun, but he did not have any other explanation for how it came to be in the truck.


Robin found dead via blow dart
ST. CLAIR SHORES — At around 7:30 p.m. June 10, police were called to the 21000 block of Frazho Street after a resident found a robin that had been killed with a blow dart.

The 45-year-old woman said that she came home at around 7 p.m. and found the robin lying in her driveway with a blow dart through it. A neighbor told the woman the following day that she also found a blow dart on her roof.


Argument leads to pepper spray in face
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Officers were called to Rite Aid, 25100 Harper Ave., the afternoon of June 15 after a man involved in an alleged assault was uncooperative with emergency personnel. Upon further investigation, police discovered that a 57-year-old St. Clair Shores man was trying to help his 64-year-old Grosse Pointe friend with a vehicle repair. The St. Clair Shores man asked his 35-year-old neighbor to help with the repair, but he could not find the problem either.

The 35-year-old man allegedly began arguing with the Grosse Pointe man, swinging tools around and threatening him. The Grosse Pointe man then allegedly sprayed pepper spray in the 35-year-old man’s face. The three men were released from custody.


Suspect speeds away from police
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On June 25, in the area of Gratiot Avenue and 14 Mile Road, officers noticed a man riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle that “was too large for him.”

The suspect reportedly seemed nervous when he saw police, and he began looking over his shoulder. When police attempted to get the rider’s registration, he sped away and was not caught. The motorcycle was an older model.