By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – A visitor from Tennessee will go back home with her 2003 Dodge Ram, in spite of it having been stolen early Tuesday morning.
After a lengthy chase on road and foot, one of the two alleged car thieves was taken into custody shortly after the theft, and the vehicle was returned to its owner.
Police were notified about 2:30 a.m. of the stolen truck, valued at $10,000. The victim was visiting family in the 600 block of Leblanc Avenue, one of whom awoke to the sound of noises outside. Looking out the window, she saw two men open the truck door and drive off. She immediately called 911.
Patrol officers alerted to the theft saw the vehicle heading north on Fort Street. The suspects did not stop when advised, and instead took police on a chase into Detroit and River Rouge before the Ram crashed into a railroad crossing signal while a train was passing, then turned into the River Rouge High School parking lot.
In the parking lot, the two men exited the Ram and took off on foot. The taller of the two, Blake Jordan Avery, 23 from Detroit, was chased into a corner and started climbing a fence. After a brief struggle, Avery kicked the officer and made it to the roof, where he hit a dead end and surrendered.
According to the police report, the suspect told officers, “how stupid it was for him and his friend to steal the truck, and that he was sorry.”
Police were not able to apprehend the second suspect, a 25-year-old black male with short dark hair, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. Avery was not cooperative during the investigation, according to the Lincoln Park Police.
Avery was arraigned Wednesday in Lincoln Park’s 25th District Court before Judge David J. Zelenak. He was charged with unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison; receiving and concealing a motor vehicle, a five-year felony; and felony assault on a police officer, punishable by up to two years in prison.
Avery was issued a bond of 10 percent of $50,000, was unable to post and transported to the Wayne County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary exam on Sept. 13.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)