Police Blotter for March 17



Planking at Lowe’s

A team of con artists committed retail fraud the evening of March 4 at Lowe’s, 23111 Outer Drive, a crime which loss prevention personnel said the crew had successfully committed at other Lowe’s stores.

Initially, three men loaded 40 2×4 planks into a shopping cart, paid for the items, then left the store. One of the men then passed the receipt to a fourth person, who filled a shopping cart with the same items while inside the store, then requested a refund at the customer service desk for items in the cart which weren’t actually purchased.

Store personnel said the person receiving the refund left the parking lot with the other three men in a white pickup truck.

Drunken driver falls asleep roadside in boss’ vehicle

A drunken driver who pulled off to the side of the road in the 14900 block of Cleophus and put his vehicle in park, but left the engine running, at 1:09 a.m. March 9 was found slumped over the steering wheel, asleep, by a police officer. There was an open 25-ounce can of Anheuser-Busch Natty Daddy malt liquor in the cupholder.

When awoken, the man said he was “on my way home,” but did not know where he was. He said he had “only had two beers,” and pointed to the open beer in the vehicle’s cupholder. He smelled of intoxicants, his eyes were bloodshot and he had a glassy stare.

When asked who owned the vehicle he was in, he said it belonged to his boss, and he was allowed to use it to get to and from work each day.

The man consented to field sobriety tests, which he was unable to perform. A preliminary breath test was administered, and the man had a blood alcohol content of 0.10, higher than the 0.08 limit for legally drunk in Michigan.

Before the man was taken in the custody, he was allowed to take his dog, who was in the vehicle, into his house, which was nearby, in which he assured the officer there was food and water.

He was then taken into custody, and his boss’ vehicle was impounded and towed. The man was found to have an expired, restricted driver’s license, with three prior operating while impaired convictions. The license plate was confiscated, and replaced with a repeat offender paper plate. The vehicle was then confiscated for forfeiture proceedings.


Vehicle loan denied, man reports identity theft

A victim of identity theft filed a report at the Dearborn police station, 16099 Michigan Ave., after receiving three letters denying him a vehicle loan.

The letters, sent from different banks, advised him of the loan which prompted the man to contact the car dealership listed on his paperwork. According to the report, the dealership advised him that someone tried to get a vehicle in the victim’s name.

The victim said his identity information was inside his vehicle that was stolen stolen out of Dearborn. His attorney advised him to get a report in order to remove the loan requests off of his record, which was provided by police.

Suspicious person reported to police

A resident living at a house on Waynewood Court called police about 3:30 p.m. Feb. 22 saying a suspicious man was knocking on her door.

She told dispatch that it was the same man who had knocked earlier, and that he continued to knock on the door and ring the doorbell before knocking on the window. The resident also told dispatch the man was black and wearing a black jacket, and that she had four children inside the house.

Once on the scene, the officer saw a black male standing on the front lawn. The officer identified the man who said he met a girl on a dating app who sent him the address to meet up.

According to the report, the man showed the officer text messages between a woman and him, and also confirmed that the house was where they were supposed to meet.

The resident denied contacting anyone on the app and said none of her children know who the man is. Police advised the man to leave the area and never return to that address, to which he said he understood before leaving the area.


$1,500 in cash stolen from purse

A woman in the parking lot of Pizza Hut, 26445 Ford Road, stopped police officers Feb. 21 to report that $1,500 was missing from her purse. She told police that earlier in the day she left her purse in the restaurant after eating there, and when she returned the cash was gone.

According to the report, an employee of the restaurant said she did not know of any money inside the purse and that a younger woman turned the purse in to employees that day.

The restaurant did not contain surveillance cameras on the inside, leaving officers with no video. She was provided with a report number, and police told the woman to contact the department if any other information was obtained.

Resident reports license plate missing

Police responded to a house in the 5700 block of Hubbell Feb. 23 after a resident noticed his license plate was missing. According to the report, the resident said he parked his vehicle at 10 p.m. in front of the house and noticed the following afternoon that the plate was stolen. No evidence was found at the scene and there was no suspect information.


Man awoken by the sound of his truck being stolen

A 31-year-old man living in the 1600 block of Gregory Avenue was awoken at 3 a.m. March 6 by the sound of the diesel engine of his white 2001 Ford F-250 pickup as it was being driven away from the front of his residence. He said when he looked out the window, he could no longer see the truck, but he could hear the distinct roar of its engine in the distance. He said the vehicle is paid off, and he had the only keys for the truck.

Taurus tires and wheels taken

When a 42-year-old woman living in the 900 block of Cleveland Avenue went out to her car the morning of March 7, she found it up on blocks, with its four wheels and tires missing. The passenger rear window also was smashed. She said her vehicle had been gone through, but nothing appeared to be missing.

Police noticed nearby surveillance cameras which may have captured footage of the theft.

The tires and rims were valued at $5,000, and the broken window had an estimated $200 replacement cost.


Flood damaged car missing from buddy’s backyard

A flood-damaged Honda CRV, which a man had stored in the backyard of his friend’s rental house in the 19100 block of Wall Street since September, was missing Feb. 7 when the man went to retrieve it. His friend said his landlord insisted that the car be removed from the yard in December, so he called a towing company he found during an online search, the name of which he could not recall, and had the vehicle towed to an impound yard.

A police officer told the Honda owner that it was his responsibility to discover which local impound lot in which his car was stored, and determine the fees. The officer suggested the two men talk again after both had calmed down.

Woman reports apartment break-in attempt, car vandalism

A woman living in an apartment in the 3500 block of Oakwood Boulevard reported to police officers March 11 that her car was vandalized overnight, with scratches on the rear driver’s side door and the rear driver’s side fender. She said that at 1 a.m., she heard sounds that made her think someone tried unsuccessfully to break into her apartment. She said she has had intermittent problems in the past with a niece.

Police officers checked surveillance video from the apartment building property, but did not see anyone approach the woman’s car that night. They asked the apartment manager for surveillance footage during the time frame someone tried to break into her apartment. She was advised to call 911 immediately if she ever hears someone trying to break in a second time.


Charger, iPad stolen from unlocked car

A man living in Greentrees Apartments on Fort Street reported the morning of Feb. 21 that an iPad, valued at $700, and a $25 charger were stolen overnight from his white 2017 Ford Focus. He said he was unsure whether the vehicle was locked, but he has the only keys.

Caravan egged

A woman living on Dundee Street reported the night of March 2 that her black 2009 Dodge Caravan had been egged on the driver’s side and on the windshield of her vehicle, which was parked in front of her house. She said she could think of no one who might have egged the vehicle.


Muffler, catalytic converter removed from underside of vehicle

A woman working at the Blanzy Clinic, 14319 Dix-Toledo, reported the afternoon of March 8 that the muffler and catalytic converter were removed from the underside of her 2004 Buick Rendevous between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., while she was working.

She noticed the vehicle was louder than normal when she went to drive it after work. When she stopped to look at the vehicle, she discovered the equipment missing. She was given a report number, and advised of ways to secure her muffler and catalytic converter to make them more difficult for a thief to remove.

Debit cards in misplaced wallet fraudulently used

A woman who left her wallet in a shopping cart the afternoon of March 4 at Kroger, 16705 Fort St., found it was missing five minutes later, and was not turned in to store management. She said she immediately checked her bank account transactions, and discovered two new unauthorized debit card transactions: $23.04 to CheckCard Smartpay Midwest, and 99 cents to CheckCard Apple iTunes.

The missing wallet was a black Michael Kors wallet. She was advised to cancel her cards and get a new Social Security number.


Burglar breaks into residence, steals winning lottery tickets

A woman living in the 15800 block of Beech Daly reported the afternoon of March 13 that when she left her residence to go shopping, someone burglarized her home, stealing a total of $6,000 in winning Daily 3 Michigan lottery tickets, which were in her purse, which she had left at home. She said she might have left her home’s door unlocked.

Escape loses tires, wheels

A woman living in Act I Condominiums, in the 14200 block of Jackson, reported the morning of March 11 that four tires and wheels were missing from her black 2018 Ford Escape, which was left sitting atop landscaping bricks, with the lug nuts scattered on the ground nearby. The woman said the tires and wheels were most likely stolen between 3 and 8 a.m. A nearby surveillance system may have captured footage of the theft.


Comcast fraud

A man reported Feb. 27 that his identity had been stolen, and he received a debt collection notice Feb. 26 from Comcast stating that he owed a $959 balance for an account opened in May 2018 using his identity information. The man was advised by Comcast to file a police report so a further investigation could be initiated.

Woman hit with multiple fraud attempts

A woman reported Feb. 7 that her online financial accounts had experienced multiple fraudulent and unauthorized transactions during the two weeks prior. Included were a $211 Comcast balance in her name, which she did not authorize; a charge to an unknown credit card in her name for $180; and a $58 charge to Paypal.

She said her Facebook account also was hacked and cloned, and when she attempted to call for support help, the person on the other end tried to get her to purchase Google pay cards to transfer money to him.

She said she was working with her bank’s fraud department to make sure the Walmart transactions and Paypal charge were not processed. She was also given an identity theft kit.


Tether cut, car taken

A woman in the 1700 block of Dee reported the afternoon of March 4 that her 44-year-old son had cut off his court mandated tether and had taken her vehicle without her permission. She said her priority was to simply get the car back. She was told that there was a warrant for her son out of the 3rd District Court. The vehicle was entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network as stolen.

Lyft driver disappears with cell phone

When a woman living in the 4200 block of Quarry discovered the night of March 5 that she had left her cell phone in the Lyft car in which she recently rode, she used a friend’s phone to call the driver, who agreed to drop off her phone to her once she finished driving another customer.

However, when the woman followed the Lyft driver’s route via a phone finder app, she saw it was taking the driver further away than the job she said she had to complete before returning the cell phone. She also noticed that the woman gave herself a $5 tip and a five-star rating using the phone. The driver then turned off the client’s phone so she could no longer be tracked.

(Compiled by Zeinab Najm and Sue Suchyta.)