Teen allegedly takes joyride in SUV stolen from Berkley home

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 10, 2021


BERKLEY — A Berkley teen was arrested by local police after he allegedly stole a vehicle and took it for a joyride around the city.

According to the Berkley Public Safety Department, a 16-year-old girl came to the Public Safety Department Jan. 10 with her father to report a crime allegedly committed by a former boyfriend. The girl stated that the former boyfriend, 17, contacted her via FaceTime and told her he had been stealing money and other items out of vehicles in town.

“She had been in contact with him, and while conversing, he admitted to breaking into cars in the Berkley area — basically cars that were unlocked — and was stealing money and change, and then directed the conversation to a car that he found a key for the vehicle in, and (he) ended up returning to steal the car,” Berkley Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield said. “He provided information about what he had did with it and where he had parked it. She felt obligated to let us know.”

The vehicle that was taken was a Chevrolet Equinox from the 3000 block of Thomas Avenue, which is in the general area of Wiltshire and Greenfield roads. It was found in the Berkley Community Church parking lot, near Wiltshire and Coolidge Highway.

Hadfield said public safety officers were sent to the church, where they found the vehicle. Officers were posted in the area to see if the teen suspect would return to the vehicle, but he did not.

The Public Safety Department contacted the vehicle’s owner, a 63-year-old Berkley woman, the following day. She told police that she had been out of town, but confirmed that her SUV was stolen.

A warrant was obtained by police to search the teen’s home. In their conversation with the suspect, Hadfield said, the teen admitted to breaking into vehicles around Jan. 9-10. Hadfield also said the teen started having second thoughts after taking the SUV and decided to leave it in the parking lot.

“He admitted that he did have the key fob and pointed out to where it was in his room,” Hadfield said. “In speaking with him about that, he stated that a night of partying led him to walk around town at night and go through unlocked cars to the point at which he found the key and then returned the next day to take it.”

A state law that will go into effect in October will raise the age of juvenile offenders to people 17 years old. Prior to this year, 17-year-olds were considered adults and would be charged as adults, Hadfield said. The teen suspect has yet to be arraigned in court, but charges were sent to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for larceny from a motor vehicle, unlawful driving away of an automobile and driving without a license.

“I do understand there was some legislation that was signed by (Gov. Gretchen Whitmer) that would be amending things to be considered a juvenile. So we’re just waiting on the prosecutor’s decision on this case in regards to whether that law is in effect or whether he will be charged as an adult,” Hadfield said.