Nintendo nicked, listed for sale online
A man living in the 14900 block of Morris Avenue reported the evening of Jan. 4 that a backpack containing his Nintendo Switch home video game system, valued at $250, was stolen out of his unlocked car, which was parked overnight on the street in front of his residence. He said the car’s center console and glove box were rummaged through, but nothing else was taken.
The man showed police officers a Craig’s List posting from Allen Park, which shows what he believes to be his gaming system, because the online ad shows his carrying case in the photo. He provided police officers with the Nintendo Switch serial number entered on his purchase receipt.
Liquid asset theft foiled
Two women were arrested at Target, 3100 Fairlane Drive, the evening of Jan. 5 after they attempted to leave the store with $220 worth of laundry detergent. Loss prevention employees watched the women through surveillance feed as they went to the laundry aisle, filled a cart with laundry detergent, the took reusable store shopping bags from a retail rack and filled them with the gathered merchandise. The women then attempted to leave the store without paying for the soap, but were detained by loss prevention personnel.
Man arrested for retail fraud at Walmart
The Loss Prevention Department at Walmart, 5851 Mercury Drive, called police to the store on a retail fraud report on Dec. 11.
According to the report, a man concealed a bottle of liquor and baby formula in a diaper bag just after 8:30 p.m. when he was at the store. The man passed all points of sale and cash registers without paying for the items when a Loss Prevention Officer stopped him at the front entrance.
All the stolen items were recovered and the suspect was arrested by police for third degree retail fraud.
Speed awareness monitor damaged
The Police Department reported that its speed awareness monitor at Clairview and Clairview Court was damaged on Jan. 8.
According to police, the monitor was moved to the location on the week of Jan. 4 to track the speed of drivers in the area. Damage to the monitor was observed during the early morning hours of Jan. 8.
Anyone with information on the monitor can call Detective Sgt. Jake Hatten at 313-277-7716.
Resident reports break-in at vacant house
Police responded to a house in the 25000 block of Pennie Dec. 17 after the owner reported a break-in.
The owner said he evicted the tenant who was living at the house. When the owner went to visit the house, he observed a rear window was broken. Officers made sure the house was clear allowing the owner to determine that nothing was missing from the inside.
There is no suspect information.
Man scammed by IRS fraud
A 36-year-old Lincoln Park man learned an expensive lesson Jan. 7 after telephone scammers convinced him to send them a large sum of money over the phone by providing them with the numbers of purchased gift cards.
The victim said he received a call from a person claiming to be with the Social Security Department. The caller said the man’s Social Security number had been compromised, and a rental car registered in his name was found in Texas, near the Mexican boarder, with blood and seven kilograms of cocaine inside. The caller said if he did not send them the remaining balance in his bank account, the money would be frozen by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
The victim said the caller told him to go to the Taylor Home Depot and purchase Hotels.com gift cards. He followed the directive, and provided the caller with the gift card numbers and the PINs.
The police officer explained the scam to the victim, and told him that he should never provide any information over the phone to an unknown caller, especially one claiming to be a government employee. He was given an incident number and told to follow up with his bank.
Frozen phone screen leads to tech scammers
A 66-year-old Lincoln Park man was conned out of a large amount of money the afternoon of Jan. 5 when a pop-up message on his smartphone indicated the phone was locked, and provided a telephone number to call to get the phone unlocked.
The victim said he reached a man at a call center, with an Indian accent, who instructed him to buy Apple iTunes gift cards for an indicated amount to have his phone unlocked. The same man also asked for the victim’s credit card information, which he provided.
The call center person did not unlock the phone even after the victim purchased and relayed the numbers from six separate gift cards, for which he made three trips to local stores. The victim was then told to power down and restart the phone to resolve the technical issue.
When another operator spoke to the victim and told him to purchase four more gift cards, bringing the total to 10, the victim became upset, threatened to call the Better Business Bureau and hung up.
The victim then had an epiphany, and reported the entire transaction to local police officials. The victim was given a report number and advised that legitimate tech companies do not send out unsolicited tech support pop up messages following a phone or computer malware attack.
Catalytic converter stolen for precious metals
A man living in the 18200 block of Robert Avenue reported the morning of Jan. 4 that the catalytic converter was stolen overnight from his 1999 Honda Accord. There were no nearby security surveillance cameras in use.
Older Accords and Odysseys are favored targets of precious metal thieves because the catalytic converters can be more quickly removed on those models. Thieves sell the precious metals in the catalytic converters – platinum, palladium and rhodium – on the black market.
To prevent future thefts, owners are advised to etch the vehicle’s VIN or license plate number on the converter, and to weld or cage the converter to the vehicle frame to make it more difficult to remove.
A 16-year-old girl who ran away from her mother’s house Christmas Day was found Dec. 30 by Romulus police officers, after which her father petitioned to have her admitted to a medical facility.
Ecorse and Canton Township police helped in the search for the girl, who was believed to be with a young man who frequents both cities. The girl was spotted Dec. 28 at a Red Roof Inn in the city of Wayne.
Dearborn police used technology to try to pinpoint the girl’s cell phone location, but the phone did not indicate that it was in use during an attempt to track the device.
Fraudulent Verizon account opened, iPhones purchased
A woman living in the 17000 block of Fort Street reported the afternoon of Dec. 20 that on Dec. 12, an unknown person opened a Verizon account in her name and purchased two iPhone XS units, valued at $900 each, with 64 GB and 24-month contracts. The phones appear to have been bought and activated at an unknown second-party mobile device store. Verizon had frozen the accounts, but were unable to provide any additional actionable information.
Dog rescued from garbage can
A man walking his dog the afternoon of Dec. 16 reported a medium-sized dog inside a business waste receptacle near Vreeland and Fort. The dog had no collar, but appeared to be clean, healthy and uninjured.
When the responding police officer lowered the receptacle so the dog could get out, the dog took off, running east on Vreeland. The officer was unable to detain the dog. However, the dog walker tracked the dog, won him over, and provided officers with a photo for social media. He said he would keep the dog until the animal shelter opened the next day.
Debit card fraud reported
A woman filed a fraud report Dec. 19 after a $72.57 purchase was charged to her debit card the day before. The victim said she last used the card Dec. 18 at a Walmart, and believes that is where her card information may have been compromised.
She said she cancelled the card, did not provide personal information to anyone, and was disputing the fraudulent charge. She said her bank is aware of the situation.
A man living in the 15000 block of Drake reported the afternoon of Jan. 5 that in the past year a drone has repeatedly flown over his residence. He said he noticed the most recent flight at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon. He told police officers that the drone arrives from an area south of his residence, and he believes the drone is flying higher than legally allowed.
Fuel tank theft caught on video
BOS Enterprises, 24420 Pennsylvania Road, reported the morning of Jan. 3 that surveillance video shows images at 3 a.m. of a man stealing two diesel fuel tanks from the property. A company representative said a white Suburban with a single axle trailer pulled into the fenced lot, and a white male, wearing a black Carhatt jacket and black Adidas shoes with white stripes, got out of the vehicle and started to look around the yard. He then drove to where the two diesel fuel tanks were stored, loaded them onto the trailer and left. The video did not capture the license plate number.
Wallet, knife stolen from unlocked car
A wallet and knife were reported stolen the morning of Jan. 3 from an unlocked 2009 Pontiac G6 car in the 5800 block of Clippert. A woman said the glove box and center console had been rifled, and her black wallet, with blue trim and a monkey motif, was missing, along with her driver’s license, several credit cards and medical cards. The knife, which was 3 to 4 inches long, had a wooden handle. There were no suspects.
Car keyed New Year’s Eve
A resident of Lisa Court reported Jan. 2 that her car was keyed sometime between 4 p.m. Dec. 31 and 4 a.m. Jan. 1 in her driveway. She said another person in the household heard an unexplained sound about 4 a.m. outside the residence. The damage, on the passenger side of the car, was photographed and uploaded to the case file.
Hummer stolen with nearly empty gas tank
A white 2003 Hummer H2, with dark-tinted windows and a nearly empty gas tank, was stolen between 6:50 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Jan. 3 from an employee parking lot at the Chrysler Trenton Engine Plant, 2300 Van Horn. The vehicle owner said the Hummer was parked on the southeast side of the lot, facing west. He said he had the only set of keys, and he was up to date on payments. Plant security staff said they would need corporate approval to release surveillance video of the parking lot.
Police officers checked nearby gas stations to see if anyone remembered a Hummer purchasing gas, to no avail. The vehicle was entered into the Law Enforcement Information Network as stolen.
Traffic stop results in arrest for felony warrants
A 25-year-old Wyandotte man who triggered a traffic stop the afternoon of Dec. 21 by not wearing his seatbelt while driving in the 1800 block of 17th Street ended up in custody for outstanding felony warrants out of Washtenaw County for home invasion and receiving stolen property.
The patrol officer ran the vehicle’s license plate and discovered that the vehicle, a dark blue 1997 Saturn coupe, was not insured. The driver said he had left his driver’s license at home. The front seat passenger, a woman, verified the man’s identity.
The car was released to the licensed passenger, while the man was taken into custody, booked and held.
Hit-and-run vehicle leaves bumper at scene
A hit-and-run driver left a chunk of bumper behind at the scene Christmas morning in the 3300 block of 23rd Street. A 20-year-old man said he had parked his 2013 blue Chevy Cruze on the street in front of his residence about 11 p.m. Dec. 24. The man’s brother discovered the vehicle damage at 7:40 a.m. the next morning.
The piece of bumper left behind was from a white Cadillac Escalade, possibly a 2002 model year vehicle. The Chevy Cruze was struck in the left rear, shattering the rear window and damaging the trunk. No one reported hearing a crash.
(Compiled by Zeinab Najm and Sue Suchyta.)