Van thief nabbed after chase; two still sought

Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — One man is in custody and two others remain wanted after the theft of a van took Lincoln Park Police on a Sunday morning chase that ended in Allen Park.

Police were called about 6:20 a.m. Nov. 4 by a woman living in the 2100 block of Malvina Avenue, who said that several men were attempting to break into her 1999 Plymouth Voyager van.

The woman was sleeping on her couch and was awakened by pounding sounds from outside where she saw a black man hammering away at the van’s door lock. A second black man was standing nearby, and a dark green Chevrolet Cavalier was parked on the road nearby.

She saw the van pull away, and the Cavalier drove up alongside as if the passengers were talking to one another. The Cavalier turned north on Hazel while the van went south.

Officers responding to the original call located the white van on Buckingham, and attempted a traffic stop.

The van, with three passengers, began driving in reverse while another patrol car joined the chase.

The officers believed they had boxed in the stolen vehicle, but the van took off again headed at an officer who had stepped out of his vehicle. The van struck the police car, nearly hit the officer and drove away.

The chase continued into Allen Park where the van came to a dead end at Moore and Buckingham. The three men took off running into Panhandle Park, where one suspect was caught.

Ivan Scott Roberson, 22, was taken into custody and arraigned Tuesday in Lincoln Park’s 25th District Court.

Believed to be the lookout man during the van theft, Roberson is charged with felonies including fleeing and eluding a police officer and unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle, both carrying a potential five-year sentence, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault on a police officer.

A preliminary examination of the evidence against him is scheduled for Dec. 20. Roberson was transported to Wayne County Jail and held on $100,000 bond. As of press time, Roberson remained in custody.

(James Mitchell can be reached at