Suspect charged with carjacking woman in Hazel Park

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published February 15, 2024

 Reginald Florence

Reginald Florence


HAZEL PARK — A man brandishing a knife threatened a woman at a Hazel Park pharmacy and drove off with her vehicle, only to be captured a short time later with the help of Ferndale police.

The suspect is Reginald Florence, 58, of Detroit, charged with carjacking, a felony offense punishable by up to life in prison, as well as third-degree fleeing and eluding, a five-year felony; resisting and obstructing police, a two-year felony; and one count of driving on a suspended license, a misdemeanor offense.

He was arraigned in the 43rd District Court in Hazel Park on Feb. 6 in a videoconferencing call with Judge Charles Pope, who jailed him on a $250,000 cash bond.

At press time, his attorney, Judith Gracey, had not returned a request for comment.

The incident occurred the day prior, on Feb. 5, beginning in the parking lot of the CVS pharmacy at Nine Mile and John R roads.

The victim, a 60-year-old Madison Heights woman, allegedly left the store around 5:45 a.m. Upon entering her vehicle, the suspect reportedly approached the driver’s side door and requested money and a trip to the bank. The woman said no, and that’s when he allegedly pointed a knife at her, threatening to kill her if she didn’t cooperate.

The woman reportedly exited her vehicle, allowing the suspect to take the wheel of the 2016 Jeep Patriot and make his escape. The victim called police from inside the CVS store, and Hazel Park officers notified other departments to be on the lookout for the vehicle and suspect.

Ferndale police were the first to find him, locating his vehicle in the area of Eight Mile and Hilton roads. They pursued the suspect until he crashed the Jeep a short distance away, running into a parking lot’s fence, rendering the vehicle inoperable.

Police say that Florence was wearing a ski mask with a single opening for the eyes and nose. They also located the knife they say he used to threaten the victim.

“He was still wearing the clothing that he committed the carjacking in,” said Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz.

The suspect was arrested without further incident. Buchholz noted that Florence has a history of prior convictions, including repeated acts of larceny from a person, as well as concealing stolen property valued at $20,000 or greater.

Ed Klobucher, the city manager of Hazel Park, commended both police departments for their collaborative effort.

“Hazel Park police and Ferndale police did an excellent job of very quickly apprehending this dangerous suspect,” Klobucher said. “Our police department takes violent crime very seriously, and this speedy arrest is another example of their dedication and professionalism. The suspect has a lengthy criminal record, so I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”