In surveillance video taken Dec. 13 at a home in the 28000 block of Couzens Avenue, one man can be seen attempting to steal a vehicle while another stands guard with an AR-15-style pistol. While the suspects were unsuccessful in that attempt, police believe the same suspects stole a separate vehicle at another location Dec. 18.

In surveillance video taken Dec. 13 at a home in the 28000 block of Couzens Avenue, one man can be seen attempting to steal a vehicle while another stands guard with an AR-15-style pistol. While the suspects were unsuccessful in that attempt, police believe the same suspects stole a separate vehicle at another location Dec. 18.

Photo provided by Madison Heights Police


Police look for armed thieves who targeted cars in Madison Heights

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published January 10, 2022

MADISON HEIGHTS — Police are continuing to investigate a series of incidents in which a man wielding an AR-15-style pistol and at least one accomplice tried stealing high-performance cars from neighborhoods in Madison Heights.

The suspects were successful in at least one attempt, on Dec. 18 around 4:30 a.m., when they targeted a home in the 30000 block of Winthrop Avenue, stealing a purple 2020 Dodge Challenger with the Michigan license plate of DBA6082.

Broken glass was found at the scene, suggesting the suspects broke a window to gain entry. Authorities believe the suspects then used a replica key fob to start the engine — an increasingly common tactic among auto thieves looking to steal and flip vehicles on the black market.

The same men were reportedly seen on surveillance video a week earlier on Dec. 13 around 5:15 a.m., at another home less than a mile away in the 28000 block of Couzens Avenue. One man could be seen standing guard with the AR-15-style pistol, while the other tried and failed to gain entry into the car.

One suspect is described as a Black man, about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing between 150 and 180 pounds. He was wearing a white mask, a light-colored hoodie sweatshirt that was either white or grey, black pants with white stripes along the sides, and light-colored shoes.

The second suspect appeared to be a light-skinned Black man, between 5 feet 9 inches tall and 6 feet tall, weighing between 170 and 190 pounds. He was wearing a light-colored mask and a grey zip-up hoodie with a black or dark-colored horizontal stripe on the front.  

Police say the owner of the vehicle targeted Dec. 13 previously had another vehicle stolen at a separate location in September. The same person told police that on Dec. 15 at around 5:55 a.m., unknown individuals were seen in the yard of the home on Couzens Avenue, although nothing was stolen or damaged. It is unknown if they were the same suspects from the Dec. 13 incident.

Madison Heights Police Lt. Michael Siladke said that there have been more auto thefts lately, with popular targets including Dodge Chargers, Dodge Challengers, Dodge Durangos, and Jeep Cherokees with high-performance packages.

“But there is no one way a car thief operates,” Siladke said in an email. “Some take advantage of opportunities presented. Others may drive around looking for specific vehicles to target at a later time and date. If thieves have a specific vehicle in mind, they will look for those vehicles that are accessible and target them at a time when there is less chance of being detected.”

He suggested several ways to keep your vehicle safe.

“When possible, it is advised to always lock your vehicle and utilize any security measures that are present — car alarms, CCTV cameras, a kill switch, club, etc. Knowing the vehicles that are being highly targeted, owners should also consider, if possible, parking and locking those vehicles in a garage or in a fenced-in yard,” Siladke said.

He said neighboring cities have been reporting similar trends in car thefts, and that the city of Madison Heights is networking with them to generate additional leads. In the meantime, he urges the public to exercise caution.

“It is unusual for suspects committing car thefts to brandish a firearm. The bold nature of these incidents is concerning, but they are isolated incidents that will continue to be investigated,” Siladke said. “Car thefts, unfortunately, are not an unusual occurrence, but knowing specific cars that appear to be targeted provides information that can help for a proactive approach to prevent future thefts.

“And if anyone determines a crime to be in progress, call 911,” he said. “Be the best witness that you can be, and relay all that information to the police.”

If you know more about these crimes or others, call Madison Heights Police at (248) 585-2100.