Man arrested after break-in at scene of strip mall fire

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published January 7, 2019


WARREN — A strip mall near Eight Mile and Dequindre roads was the scene of separate police and fire investigations Jan. 2-3, where a fire damaged a portion of the structure and a news reporter later led police to a man who allegedly busted into an adjacent nail salon.

Detective Sgt. Robert Eidt, of the Warren Police Department, said officers responded to a breaking and entering in progress report at 2075 E. Eight Mile Road at 7:47 a.m. Jan. 3. He confirmed that a reporter from WWJ Newsradio 950 told police that he witnessed a man break into a building, later identified as Nice Nails.

“Apparently, the window and the door were broken, but not broken out,” Eidt said. “(The suspect) made the holes bigger so he could enter. (The reporter) watched the male break into the building and contacted police.”

Eidt said cash was taken by the suspect, who fled south across Eight Mile.

“As officers were arriving on the scene and the witness pointed that out to them, officers were able to locate him quickly in the immediate area and placed him under arrest. He did resist officers, and will be charged with that as well.”

The reporter had been at the scene of a fire, which damaged the stip mall less than 12 hours earlier.

Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams said crews were sent to the area at 8:20 p.m. Jan. 2 after the owner of a Chinese restaurant in the strip mall went outside after closing and found flames emerging from the front of an adjacent men’s clothing store.

Two businesses reportedly suffered fire damage, and all of them suffered smoke and water damage to some degree. A cause had not been identified at press time, but McAdams said the fire did not appear to be suspicious.

The U.S. Army’s Detroit Arsenal Fire Department sent an aerial quint truck to the scene to assist in extinguishing the fire from above.

No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

The break-in suspect, a 24-year-old Detroit resident, was expected to be arraigned Jan. 4, after press time, on breaking and entering and resisting arrest charges.