Man accused of stealing items from hydroponics store

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published June 4, 2021

HAZEL PARK — An Eastpointe man faces possible prison time after police say he loaded up a vehicle with stolen goods from a hydroponics store in Hazel Park.

Robert Salyers, 34, was arraigned in Hazel Park 43rd District Court May 8 for an incident that occurred April 4, where he is accused of stealing about $3,000 worth of merchandise from outside Hydro Harry’s, a hydroponic nursery and equipment supplier located at 24047 Dequindre Road.

If convicted, the felony theft charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz said in an email that the stolen items included planting supplies such as potting equipment, soil buckets and fertilizers. Salyers was allegedly detected by security sensors in the outside yard around 5 a.m. that day, alerting police, who responded and reportedly found him loading the items into his pickup truck, a 2008 Chevrolet.

Buchholz said that police knew what was missing since the store had performed an inventory of its supplies earlier. Salyers allegedly told police that he had permission from the store to take what he did since he had an account with the store, but that was a false claim.

At the time, Salyers was booked but then released during the investigation. However, he was arrested in Warren three days later for retail fraud. Previous convictions on his record include ones for felony larceny and felony child abuse.

At press time, Salyers was represented by attorney Patricia Cooper, free on personal bond.  Cooper did not return calls for comment by press time. Buchholz said that the terms of Salyers’ bond prohibit him from using alcohol or drugs, and he must undergo random drug and alcohol testing.

Buchholz described the incident as a crime of opportunity.

“I am not sure what his purpose was for stealing the property. He told the officers on scene that he had an account at the store, but the store owner didn’t know him and doesn’t allow any property to be taken after hours,” Buchholz said. “They (the store) originally thought the value (of the stolen items) was much less, until they did a more detailed inventory and it totaled over $3,000.

“The system they had in place, and quickly notifying us, definitely allowed us to capture him,” the chief added. “Any type of alarm systems, surveillance cameras and security fences and gates are encouraged to keep property safe. That helps (police) out also, if the thieves don’t have easy access.”