Police arrest alleged gang members who targeted Berkley, Royal Oak

By: Mike Koury, Sarah Wojcik | C&G Newspapers | Published November 22, 2021

 Wenzel

Wenzel

 Zuniga-Sculley

Zuniga-Sculley

Advertisement

BERKLEY/ROYAL OAK — On Nov. 6, Berkley police arrested two individuals who allegedly were attempting to forge a check and cash it at a Berkley bank branch.

Police found the suspects, identified as Tyler Wenzel, 26, and Deysi Zuniga-Sculley, 23, both from Florida, to be in possession of stolen property from four vehicles that were broken into in the area of Coolidge Highway and Oxford Road in Berkley while the victims were attending fitness class Nov. 5

At the time of the incident, there was no suspect information other than a white truck, police said.

On Nov. 5, Berkley police were notified that vehicles were broken into outside Berkley Fit Body Boot Camp. Items taken from the automobiles included credit cards, expensive purses and hundreds of dollars in cash. The vehicles were both locked and unlocked.

“It sounds like from the interview the suspect said they saw everybody walking into the gym. It looks like they pull around the corner, wait and then break into the cars, stealing the purses and wallets,” said Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield, of the Berkley Public Safety Department.

The next day, on Nov. 6, the department stated officers were sent to the MSU Federal Credit Union for someone who cashed a fraudulent check the previous day and had returned to the bank again.

Police were notified by a bank employee that on Nov. 5, a 41-year-old Berkley woman visited the credit union to close her account after her wallet had been stolen during the break-ins. It was the same day that Zuniga-Sculley allegedly cashed a check made out to that woman for $2,350.

Hadfield said Zuniga-Sculley came back to the bank, and that police apprehended her at the scene. Police also checked the area for any vehicles tied to the woman. Officers located Wenzel walking away from a pickup truck that Zuniga-Sculley had keys for, and detained him.

“Once (officers) made contact with (Zuniga-Sculley), she was using an ID from a victim from the day before. So those officers recognized that,” Hadfield said. “They went over to find her car and saw the male trying to get out of their pickup truck and stopped him. When they started talking with him, they identified that he was with her and found all the other victim’s credit cards and IDs all in his pockets.”

Lt. Al Carter, of the Royal Oak Police Criminal Investigation Unit, said Berkley and Royal Oak detectives worked together to press charges against Wenzel and Zuniga-Sculley.

Carter said police believe the same suspects targeted two vehicles at Planet Fitness, 2560 Crooks Road, south of 13 Mile Road, in Royal Oak Nov. 5.

According to police reports, both victims at Planet Fitness reported that an unknown suspect shattered their vehicle windows to steal personal property between 5:45 and 6:39 a.m. Nov. 5.

In one case, the complainant reported a wallet, which contained money and credit cards, was stolen. In the other case, the complainant reported a purse, wallet and prescription glasses were stolen.

Carter said police believe the two individuals are members of the Felony Lane Gang, which is based out of Florida. The gang’s modus operandi, Carter said, is to steal financial transaction devices and enter the farthest lane of a bank’s drive-thru ATM.

“A female in (the vehicle) passes the check,” he said. “Both (suspects) are from Florida. She was caught passing a bad check in Berkley.”

Zuniga-Sculley was charged with uttering and publishing, forging a driver’s license, identity theft and two counts of possession of financial transaction devices. Wenzel was charged with eight counts of possession of a financial transaction device.

According to the 44th District Court’s website, neither individual had an attorney as of press time. Their next court date was scheduled for Nov. 19, after press time.

Advertisement