Warren police arrest four in ‘major’ auto theft bust

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published November 1, 2018

 Surveillance by the Warren Police Department’s Special Operations Unit has led to a “major bust” of an “organized theft ring,” allegedly targeting high-priced trucks and other vehicles.

Surveillance by the Warren Police Department’s Special Operations Unit has led to a “major bust” of an “organized theft ring,” allegedly targeting high-priced trucks and other vehicles.

Photo by Brian Louwers

WARREN — Surveillance by the Warren Police Department’s Special Operations Unit recently led to a “major bust” of an “organized theft ring,” allegedly targeting high-priced trucks and other vehicles.

Warren Police Commissioner Bill Dwyer said four suspects were arrested early Nov. 1 as part of a surveillance operation that began in Detroit and moved into Auburn Hills.

“Once they got into Auburn Hills, they went into a storage area and they took between five and eight vehicles, Dodge Rams (trucks) and other vehicles. They then left the area, went south on Interstate 75 at a high rate of speed,” Dwyer said. “It wasn’t a pursuit. It wasn’t a chase. We had them under surveillance using other techniques.”

Dwyer said officers identified two of the suspects and made an arrest near Seven Mile and Schoenherr roads in Detroit. Two more suspects were later arrested near Coolidge Highway and Nine Mile Road in Oak Park.

One of the suspects in custody was described as the “ringleader.” Dwyer said he’s 29 years old. The other three suspects were said to be in their 30s. All were described as “career criminals” with a history of arrests for carjacking and auto theft.

Dwyer said the targeted vehicles included high-end Chrysler products that retail for $100,000 or more. The arrests were part of an ongoing local auto theft probe that began earlier this year.

As many as 11 Dodge Ram trucks were driven off the lot during a brazen heist at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Warren Truck Assembly Plant on Mound Road in May. Dodge muscle cars were targeted by thieves in June at Galeana’s Van Dyke Dodge.

It was unclear at press time if the arrests were related to the other high-profile thefts. The investigation remained ongoing, at press time and the suspects were being held in the Warren jail pending arraignment Nov. 1.

“We’re very pleased. As you know, auto theft is something that has really dramatically increased over the last year or so,” Dwyer said. “We’ve had intelligence information and had them under surveillance for a period of time. Several weeks.”