Royal Oak police seek breaking and entering suspects

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published December 30, 2019

 Police are searching for breaking and entering suspects who fled in a newer-model, gray Toyota RAV4 after stealing cellphones from a Royal Oak Sprint store located at 31668 Woodward Ave., south of Normandy Road, Dec. 27.

Police are searching for breaking and entering suspects who fled in a newer-model, gray Toyota RAV4 after stealing cellphones from a Royal Oak Sprint store located at 31668 Woodward Ave., south of Normandy Road, Dec. 27.

Photo provided by the Royal Oak Police Department

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ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak police are looking for a seasoned crew of crooks who have targeted cellphone stores, as well as a Target, in a number of different jurisdictions.

At approximately 3:51 a.m. Dec. 27, the suspects were involved in a smash-and-grab at a Royal Oak Sprint Store located at 31668 Woodward Ave., south of Normandy Road.

Lt. Al Carter, of the Royal Oak Police Department, said a police officer responded to the store within a minute of the alarm sounding, but the burglars already had been in and out.

He said the burglars threw a rock through the front display window — the same method used in all of the incidents that police believe are related — and three male burglars wearing black hoodies, gloves and black coverings over their faces stole several cellphones from the business.

“They knew what they were doing and didn’t want to leave any trace of evidence behind,” Carter said.

The three burglars then entered a newer-model gray Toyota RAV4 with a black roof and drove off. The RAV4 was driven by a fourth suspect who was dressed similarly to the three burglars, police said.

Besides Royal Oak, Carter said similar crimes have occurred in West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Lyon Township and New Hudson. A Target store in Brighton also was burglarized.

“We have multiple different agencies and different detectives in charge of those cases all working together with the hope that we end up piecing information together,” Carter said. “We’re trying to work out if any agencies had a similar vehicle description, and we’re trying to get a license plate.”

He advised that people should purchase cellphones from legitimate phone stores.

“Obviously, there’s a market for (selling stolen cellphones),” he said. “With people purchasing phones off the street, if they’re stolen, now they’re in possession of stolen property, and you don’t want that.”

Police ask that anyone with information regarding the crime call the Royal Oak Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Unit at (248) 246-3456.

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