Sterling Heights police move to put a stop to a suspected burglary at Ryan Health Pharmacy during the early morning hours of Sept. 9.

Sterling Heights police move to put a stop to a suspected burglary at Ryan Health Pharmacy during the early morning hours of Sept. 9.

Video screenshot provided by the Sterling Heights Police Department

Suspect arrested in Ryan pharmacy burglary

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 13, 2022


STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights police Sgt. Tony Roeske was on patrol early in the morning of Sept. 9, keeping a watchful eye for anyone who was trying to break into a pharmacy, according to the Police Department.

And his search reportedly ended with one arrest, a step that police hope will help remedy a broader trend of such break-ins.

At around 3:20 a.m. that morning, Roeske reportedly spotted a white Dodge Journey approaching the back doors of Ryan Health Pharmacy, located at 38800 Ryan Road, near 17 Mile Road. Multiple suspects got out of the Journey, broke through a back door and entered the building “in attempts to steal items,” police said. Video footage released by police shows the door’s glass shattered and loud noises coming from inside the building.

When Roeske saw the suspects’ Journey, he positioned his own vehicle to block the other and then worked with Sterling Heights probationary officers Colton Conley and Bryce Elliott in an effort to capture the suspects, police said. On tape, police ordered the suspects to put their hands up, and soon a pursuit began.

“All right. We got a foot chase. Get a dog going,” a voice from police says on the footage. “Multiple people running on foot.”

One suspect was seen on police video footage running away before being pursued, caught and arrested, police said.

“Due to the outstanding job and due diligence by Sgt. Roeske, and responding officers, a breaking and entering of a business was foiled,” Lt. Mario Bastianelli said in a written statement released Sept. 12. “A suspect is now in jail, and … his partners in crime are under investigation.”

“Whether (it’s) day or night, the Sterling Heights Police Department stand on guard to protect its citizens and businesses.”

During the afternoon of Sept. 12, Sterling Heights police Chief Dale Dwojakowski said the city has seen multiple pharmacy break-ins over the last few years, and he added that other communities throughout metro Detroit have likewise been experiencing the same thing.

“The No. 1 thing they’re after is pain pills, namely hydrocodone and OxyContin pills,” Dwojakowski said. “Those are opioids, the same as heroin. And they’re very desirable for street-level drug sales; they’re easy to sell. That’s why they’re a target for these thefts.”

Because the Ryan Health Pharmacy case is still under investigation, police have not given details about any remaining suspects on the loose or their number. Dwojakowski said police are still investigating “multiple other subjects.”

Anyone who has more information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Sterling Heights Police Investigations Bureau by calling (586) 446-2825.