Macomb County crime briefs from the second 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 July to December:


Customer damages business
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to Plato’s Closet, 24090 Harper Ave., July 8 after the manager reported that an irate customer had caused damage to the store. The manager said that at around 1:15 p.m., a 24-year-old Detroit man came in to sell some clothing. She told police that the same man had tried to sell clothing to the store the day before, but the clothing had bugs on it. She told him to clean the clothing before trying to sell it at the store.

The clothing the man wanted to sell July 8 was still not clean, the manager said. When she told him that, he began to call her names and knocked merchandise off the counter and threw a chair into a display.


Man’s TV, marijuana pipe stolen
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On July 13, in the 19000 block of Weybridge Street, a man who reportedly left his door unlocked found his TV stolen. He called police and said he thought a woman, 38, who was living with him stole the TV and one of his marijuana pipes. The woman was being investigated for home invasion.


Arrests made at city picnic
FRASER — A pair of arrests were made at the Fraser City Picnic July 21 at Steffens Park.

One involved a 27-year-old Shelby Township man who was visibly intoxicated. Officers received complaints about the man reportedly attempting to start fights in the beer tent. When officers located the individual, he was in the company of a small child. When officers attempted to check the welfare of the individual and the child, the man “became belligerent” and “attempted to push past officers.” He was arrested.

The second arrest also took place near the beer tent in the early evening. Officers were called to the area for an individual who was said to have needed medical attention. Officers found an intoxicated 51-year-old Fraser man lying face down in the grass. When officers attempted to assist the individual, he reportedly became loud, verbally abusive and aggressive and began using profanity “loud enough for others to hear.” He was also arrested.


Customer throws food at restaurant
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Around 6:30 p.m. July 23, police were called to Gim Ling restaurant, 31402 Harper Ave., because of a disorderly customer who was throwing food. When police arrived and spoke with the 55-year-old St. Clair Shores man, he said that he was unhappy with the service at the restaurant and had tried to return his food, but was unable to obtain a refund. He denied throwing food.

The employee told police that the man tried to return his food but was refused as he had already eaten most of it. The man then became upset, the employee said, and threw his food across the counter. Police saw food spattered on the wall and spilled on the counter and the floor. Multiple customers confirmed the employee’s account of the situation and the man was cited for disorderly conduct.


Man arrested after burglary at business
UTICA — The Utica Police Department was called to a local business on Van Dyke Avenue for a burglary that occurred at 10:40 p.m. July 28. A 41-year-old man from Rochester Hills was caught on video kicking the door and breaking into the business, according to police.

The man then used cutting tools to attempt to break into the safe, and when that didn’t work, he tied a hook and chain connected to a forklift to the safe, but that also didn’t work and resulted in damage to many of the walls in the business.

The man then took the keys for a truck and tried to take the truck, but that too was unsuccessful. When all of his attempts failed, the man left on foot with nothing. He was arrested by police July 29 and charged with burglary.


Gas siphoned from boat
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to Lac Ste. Claire Harbor, 27600 Jefferson Ave., Aug. 1 after a 66-year-old man said that someone had stolen gas from his boat.

The man said that he filled his boat with 35 gallons of fuel July 27, bringing the fuel level in his boat to a full 70 gallons. When he drove his boat at around 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1, it ran out of gas and had to be towed back to the marina.

The man said the boat uses 6 gallons of fuel per hour and he had only used it for six hours. Because he has a 70-gallon tank, he believes he should have had just under 35 gallons of gas left. The man said that he believes someone had siphoned the gas out of his tank.


Police break car window to retrieve suspect
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Aug. 2, in the 21000 block of Vermander Avenue, officers responded to a call for an intoxicated man who had pulled his vehicle into a driveway and was yelling at others in the vicinity. The suspect reportedly locked his doors and closed his windows when he saw police. The suspect allegedly tried to “moon” neighbor kids who were playing basketball, as well as the officers. The suspect would not exit his vehicle, prompting police to break the window and arrest him for being disorderly. The suspect was treated for cuts from broken glass.


Man accused of stealing cellphone in courtroom while awaiting other charges
MOUNT CLEMENS — An Eastpointe man was arraigned Aug. 2 for allegedly committing a crime in a courtroom, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said.

The suspect allegedly was in Macomb County Circuit Court June 26 awaiting sentencing by Judge Carl Marlinga for a traffic incident from 2017.

“While awaiting his turn in front of the judge, it is alleged that the defendant noticed an unattended cellular phone on the bench in front of him,” states a press release. “Further, it is alleged that he proceeded to sit down beside where the phone was resting on the bench and inconspicuously place his hat over the phone before maneuvering his hat in a way that he was able to grab the phone and slide it into his pocket unnoticed.”

When the owner of the phone reportedly returned to collect his phone, he noticed it missing. He inquired with the deputy clerk, who reportedly looked at surveillance camera footage that allegedly showed the man stealing the phone.

“The audacity of this defendant is alarming,” Prosecutor Eric Smith said in the press release. “He is already in court awaiting sentencing on multiple unrelated charges. And yet he is captured on video breaking the law once again.”


Delivery driver hit with ice cream, car
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Aug. 4, at 7-Eleven at 38950 Garfield Road, a man was delivering supplies to the location when a customer reportedly became angry at the way the driver parked his vehicle. The upset individual threw a frozen Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at the delivery driver before getting inside his black Lincoln. When the driver attempted to take a picture of the vehicle, the suspect put his car in reverse and hit the man. The driver of the Lincoln was believed to be a 60-year-old man.


Man exposes himself, slashes tire
ST. CLAIR SHORES — On the afternoon of Aug. 9, police were called to the 22000 block of Gordon Street regarding a problem with a neighbor. A 36-year-old Clinton Township man told officers that he and his crew were doing landscape work on one side of the street when a 57-year-old man across the street stood on his porch, relieving himself and exposing himself to the crew.

Immediately afterward, the man allegedly went over to one of the work trucks and bent down. The Clinton Township man and his crew members heard a loud air release at that time and saw that the tire was losing air.

The 57-year-old man denied that he had relieved himself outdoors, exposed himself or slashed the tire to police, but officers found a dark spot where he had allegedly relieved himself and observed a knife-size slash in the tire. The man was taken into custody for disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property.


Delivery driver seen stealing packages
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Just before 7 p.m. Aug. 12, police were called to the 200 block of Villa Lane after a resident reported that his pizza delivery driver had stolen packages from his neighbor’s residence.

The resident told police that he noticed three Amazon packages in front of his neighbor’s door when he opened his door to take delivery of his pizza. A short time later, he said, he looked out his apartment window and saw that the delivery driver was taking what looked to be the packages out of his pizza carrier and putting them in the car. The resident tried to confront the driver, but the man drove away.

Police went to Hungry Howie’s, 21143 Mack Ave., where the employee worked, and found the suspect, a 28-year-old St. Clair Shores man, who admitted to taking the packages. He was taken into police custody.


Obscenity-spewing man arrested
ST. CLAIR SHORES — A neighbor in the 22000 block of Colony Street called police at around 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30 to report a man standing in his neighbor’s yard screaming obscenities. When police arrived, they discovered that the 36-year-old St. Clair Shores man was lying on the driveway and had soiled himself, with his pants around his knees.

The man began to curse at police as they offered to give him a ride home. The man tried to walk into another home that didn’t belong to him, and police prevented him from doing so. He was taken into police custody on charges of disorderly conduct, but snapped a fence board as he tried to evade police.


Man forcibly steals car from elderly woman
ST. CLAIR SHORES — At around 11:11 a.m. Sept. 10, police were called to Grazi Custom Design, 21210 Harper Ave., after an 86-year-old Grosse Pointe Shores woman said that her white Bentley car had been stolen.

The woman said she had left a local hospital and driven to the design shop. She said she accidentally passed the parking lot, so she turned around and pulled in from the south entrance, ending up behind the building.

As she was getting out of the car, a man pointed a black pistol at her head and told her to get out. He tried to grab some rings off her finger but couldn’t get them off. He demanded money and took her cash and her wallet, then asked how to start the vehicle. She told him how to do so and he drove away in her vehicle north out of the parking lot.

Police searched the area for the vehicle but were unable to locate it, and the store’s surveillance cameras were not working.


Employee quits job, takes monitor
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At approximately 9:50 a.m. Sept. 12, an officer was dispatched to a business on 23 Mile Road, near Hayes Road, for a larceny report. The human resources manager stated that on Sept. 9, an employee came into work and quit. Later on, the manager discovered that a computer monitor was missing. Video review showed the former employee walking out of the building with a computer monitor that he had stolen from the business, police said.


Shots fired as pair try to steal ATM
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police are looking for two men who drove a truck into a gas station, tried to steal the ATM, then got away after the clerk fired shots in their direction.

Officers responded to the Mobil Pit Stop gas station at 21003 Harper Ave. at around 5 a.m. Sept. 28, after receiving a report of gunshots in the area. Two men had smashed a truck into the gas station and tried to steal the ATM, which is what prompted the gas station clerk to fire multiple rounds at them before they got away in a silver truck that may have headed west on Eight Mile Road.

The clerk told police that he was mopping the floor when he felt the building shake and saw glass from the front door spray into the store. He said he only shot at the two men to scare them.

Detective Lt. James Fraser said that police recovered the truck in Harper Woods, but no one was inside. Police were investigating.

There were no customers inside at the time, police said, and no one appeared to have been hit by gunfire.


Men allegedly defraud store
UTICA — On Sept. 28, two men allegedly entered a local business and stole over $1,500 in items by emptying a box containing a chair and stuffing other items in the box before buying the $100 “chair” and leaving the store.

On Sept. 30, one of the two men allegedly entered the store and duplicated the crime of two days earlier. Police said the man left with $1,666 in merchandise.

Police said that the men were seen driving in a white Chevrolet Corvette.


Employee embezzles thousands in lottery tickets
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — At a gas station in the 36000 block of Gratiot Avenue, a cashier was being investigated for allegedly stealing between $80,000 and $100,000 worth of scratch-off tickets between Jan. 2 and Sept. 28. The employee reportedly scratched off the tickets without paying for them, and would then cash in any winnings.

The gas station manager told police he had video of the employee stealing, adding that other employees and even customers complained about it.


Resident, garbageman get in altercation
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to the 23000 block of Deziel Street at around 3 p.m. Oct. 1 after a man got into an argument with a garbageman.

The 42-year-old man told police that he was on his way to pick up his daughter from North Lake High School when he ended up behind a Green for Life garbage truck. The workers were picking up trash from both sides of the street and waved the man around, but because they were in the middle of the street with the door open, he couldn’t get around.

He was then approached by the man on the back of the trash truck. The two began to argue about the workers picking up trash on both sides of the street at the same time. During the exchange, the garbage worker allegedly threatened to beat the St. Clair Shores man.

The St. Clair Shores man told police he then approached the suspect and took off his shirt, then asked the worker why he would curse at a citizen. The worker then allegedly punched the man in the face once and left. Police were unable to locate the truck when they arrived.


Teens arrested for theft, assault
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 3, at Sunlite Party Store at 34705 Gratiot Ave., the owner told police that two female suspects stole a pack of cigars off the counter and ran from the store. The owner said he chased the suspects, 17 and 18. One of them dropped the cigars. The other suspect allegedly attacked him with a bottle of Hennessy she had hidden in her waistband. The suspects ran from the scene before later being caught by police and arrested for felonious assault.


Upset customer smears fast food on vehicle
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — At approximately 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4, an officer was dispatched to a fast food restaurant on 23 Mile Road, near Shelby Parkway, for a malicious destruction of property report.

An employee stated that a disgruntled customer had smeared hamburgers and mustard all over the side of the employee’s parked vehicle in the parking lot. When police arrived, the employee had already cleaned off the vehicle. The officer contacted the angry customer and advised that they were no longer welcome at the restaurant.


Woman finds stranger sleeping in vehicle
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 6, in the 20000 block of Colman Street, a woman called police when she discovered a strange man sleeping in her car. Police arrived, woke up the suspect and found him to be “unsteady” and smelling of intoxicants.

When they told him to walk to the rear of the vehicle, he responded, “This ain’t my car.” A backpack containing a handgun registered to the suspect was located. The suspect said he doesn’t have a concealed pistol license and that he thought he had removed the gun from the bag. The suspect told police he thought he was in Detroit, even though his address was listed as Clinton Township. The suspect was arrested.


Man charged with eluding police
ST. CLAIR SHORES — An officer was observing traffic on Manhattan Street, south of 10 Mile Road, around 2:18 p.m. Oct. 8 when a blue Jeep Compass came speeding up the street and swerved around a stopped UPS truck. The officer conducted a traffic stop, and the driver told the officer that he didn’t have his license, proof of insurance or vehicle registration. As the officer was checking out the vehicle’s license plate, the man yelled, “I gotta go,” and sped away on Manhattan Street.

The officer pursued the vehicle, reaching speeds of 74 mph even as the Jeep continued to pull away and make an illegal left turn onto Interstate 94. The officer estimated that it reached speeds over 100 mph on the freeway, but he had to terminate the pursuit.

A police investigation determined that the driver was a 32-year-old St. Clair Shores man who has several suspensions on his driver’s license. Around 6:20 p.m. that day, police were able to locate the man at a home on Revere Street and placed him under arrest. The man had also been ticketed for leaving the scene of an accident that same day in Detroit.

He was arraigned on charges of fleeing and eluding police and driving with license suspended in front of 40th District Court Judge Joseph Oster Oct. 9.


Postal employee assaulted
ST. CLAIR SHORES — The afternoon of Oct. 17, police were called to the U.S. Post Office at 23125 Greater Mack Ave. after an employee reported being assaulted by a customer.

The 27-year-old woman told police that she was working around 11:15 a.m. Oct. 12 when a 43-year-old St. Clair Shores man came to obtain passports for himself and his children. The man first became upset when she informed him that both parents had to be present for a minor to obtain a passport, and then became even more agitated when he turned in one form filled out with blue ink when the instructions stated that it must be written in black ink.

The man then threw a pen at her twice and cursed when she informed him that he needed original birth certificates with a seal to complete the application. He hit her in the forehead with one throw and left the building.


Drunk and disorderly man arrested
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Two employees from the Truly Urs Nail Salon, 22418 Greater Mack Ave., called police around 9:15 p.m. Oct. 18 after a man tried to open the door of the business and banged on the window. They said that he appeared to be intoxicated and walked away south on Greater Mack.

Police located a man matching the suspect’s description around the intersection of Maxine and Alice streets. The man was dancing around with his belt and pants undone. Police said that the man was uncooperative and did not appear to be able to get himself home, so the officer continued to follow him.

After much cursing and resistance, the 31-year-old Grosse Pointe Woods man was ultimately taken into police custody so that he could regain sobriety. He was cited for drunk and disorderly conduct.


Man arrested for chasing juveniles in truck
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 29, in the area of Farmbrook Drive, a man witnessed some juveniles break windows in a nearby collision shop lot. He reportedly jumped in his truck and chased after them.

A witness on Farmbrook reportedly told police that the man was driving on the grass, chasing the juveniles, who were screaming. The witness reportedly stated that it looked like the driver was running over the juveniles. Officers located the suspect, who admitted to driving on grass and chasing the juveniles, but said he wasn’t going to hit them. He was arrested for felonious assault. The juveniles were returned home safely.


Gas stolen from station
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Police were called to Sunoco gas station, 32300 Harper Ave., for a report of stolen gas the morning of Oct. 30.

The owner told police that a white Ford van pulled up to a pump and waved at the attendant, who activated the pump. After putting more than $125 worth of premium gas in the vehicle, the man drove away.


Man arrested for disorderly conduct after pickle-throwing incident
ST. CLAIR SHORES — Officers were dispatched to Travis Burger, 23500 Greater Mack Ave., the evening of Nov. 3 after a patron was reportedly throwing pickles and refusing to leave the restaurant.

When police arrived, they discovered two men arguing with employees and asked which of them was throwing food. A 36-year-old St. Clair Shores man admitted to police that he had thrown food because the employees were being rude. While an officer was interviewing the man, his friend, a 32-year-old Harper Woods man, became belligerent. He yelled at and followed the officer as he was trying to speak with the St. Clair Shores man. After the Harper Woods man continued to ignore orders from police, he was placed under arrest for disorderly conduct.