Con artist caught in the act
A 39-year-old West Bloomfield man was cited for retail fraud after he tried to return items, for which he did not pay, for a refund the afternoon of Aug. 20 at Home Depot, 3163 Fairlane Drive.
Loss prevention personnel, who captured the con on surveillance footage, said the man initially entered the store and purchased $356 worth of merchandise, for which he received a receipt. After stowing the items in his vehicle, he re-entered the store, selected $188 worth of similar items, then attempted to return those items for cash, using the receipt from his initial visit.
After receiving a citation, he was advised that he was banned from future visits to the store.
Drunk driver arrested three blocks from home
A 33-year-old Allen Park woman was arrested the night of Aug. 21 for operating while intoxicated when a police officer spotted her having difficulty maintaining her lane position and violating other traffic laws.
The woman, who was driving her sister’s Chevy Equinox, was northbound Allen Road and Roosevelt Avenue, when she was seen swerving onto the double yellow center line several times, as well as nearly striking the curb on the passenger side. When she approached the Roosevelt Avenue and Southfield Road intersection, she made a prohibited right turn at the red light, after which a traffic stop was initiated.
The driver was slow to respond to the officer’s request to pull into a nearby parking lot, removing them from an active traffic lane. After entering the parking lot, she was unable to locate a valid vehicle registration or to provide proof of insurance.
Her eyes were glassy, and she said she was returning from a day of boating in Detroit, which was inconsistent with her direction of travel. She failed numerous field sobriety tests. A preliminary breath test was administered, and the woman had a blood-alcohol content of 0.21, almost three times the 0.08 limit for legally drunk in Michigan.
A passenger in the vehicle indicated that she was intoxicated and unable to drive, so she was provided with courtesy transportation to her destination.
The driver, who claimed she lived only three blocks away, became emotional and asked the police officers to cut her a break and drive her home. However, her request was not granted.
The SUV was impounded and towed, and the driver was taken to the police station, where she was held, and cited for operating while impaired with a high blood alcohol content, and for having no proof of insurance.
Resident reports package missing
Police responded to a house in the 1300 block of Linden Aug. 15 after a woman said her package from Under Armor was missing.
The resident said she received a notification that her package was delivered at 8 a.m. Aug. 14, but when she checked her porch nothing was there. According to the report, the resident used the Under Armor tracking feature and was able to see that her package was delivered to her neighbor’s house.
When the resident made contact with her neighbors, they told her three conflicting stories of where the package was. Police made contact with the neighbors who said they did receive a package that was not theirs and that their son delivered it to the UPS office.
The neighbors said they did not have the package in their possession anymore. There was no further information in the report.
Driver cited for reckless driving, no insurance or registration
Officers were dispatched to the area of Warren Avenue and Reuter Aug. 12 for a report that four-wheelers riding in the area while being loud and obstructing traffic.
A light green Yamaha ATV was seen at 10:50 p.m. on Warren and Reuter by police stationed at Warren Avenue and Oakman Boulevard. The man driving the ATV accelerated on Warren while doing doughnuts and wheelies, the report said.
Once police arrived, the driver parked in the west side of the parking lot of Bank of America, 13020 Warren Ave., and exited the same way by walking south to the sidewalk on Warren.
Police made contact with the man who was sweating and had redness on his forehead consistent with a helmet being worn. When speaking with the driver, he said, “Come on man, I just got it,” referring to the ATV.
The man was asked if he had any weapons, and he hesitated and reached toward his waistband, according to the police report. He was detained while an inspection of the ATV was completed and didn’t reveal any items of significant value.
The ATV was impounded. Police issued the driver a citation for reckless driving, no insurance and no registration or license plate violation.
He was advised to contact 19th District Court within 14 days, his items were returned to him and was released at the scene.
Man reports identity fraud after unpaid Verizon bill alert
A resident told police Aug. 14 that an account with Verizon Wireless was opened using his personal information, unknown to him.
The man said he received an alert from a credit watch which informed him Aug.12 that he had an unpaid bill. The next day he got a letter from Verizon Wireless stating he owed $836.82 for services from February to July.
The man said he hadn’t opened an account with Verizon and that his cell phone service is through AT&T. The resident contacted Verizon which required a police report number to open an investigation, but it did freeze and cancel the fraudulent account.
Verizon customer service told the man that his account was opened at a Walmart, but did not provide the exact Walmart location.
The man was provided the case number.
Purse stolen from unlocked vehicle
A woman living in the 24600 block of Powers told police that her Coach purse was stolen from her vehicle overnight.
According to the report, the woman said that someone entered her gold Chevy Malibu between 10 p.m. Aug. 15 and 9 a.m. Aug.16. The Malibu was parked in the street outside her house and the doors were unlocked.
The woman’s driver’s license, Social Security cards, credit card and medical insurance cards were in the purse. There were no security cameras in the area to review.
No suspect information was provided.
Con artist tries to scam senior
A con artist tried to trick a 69-year-old Lincoln Park woman into providing personal financial account information the morning of Aug. 1 by posing as a representative from the fraud division of the woman’s credit union.
The caller claimed that there was fraudulent activity on the woman’s account, and needed to verify her debit card information. The victim then provided her card number, expiration date and a three-digit code on the back of the card. However, she kept the woman on the line while she called her credit union to verify the legitimacy of the caller, upon which time the con artist disconnected the call.
The intended victim then contacted her credit union, which verified that no fraudulent activity had occurred. Her account was then closed and cancelled, and she was advised that no funds had been transferred out of her account. The credit union recommended that the woman file a police report, and she was counseled to never provide banking information over the phone.
Images of lawn decoration thief captured on surveillance footage
Photos of a lawn decoration thief have been forwarded to police detectives following the 1:36 a.m. July 31 theft of three 2-foot-tall metallic sunflower ornaments, a ceramic owl statue and five solar lights, valued collectively at $50, from the 2000 block of Keppen Boulevard.
The thief was described as a white female in her mid to late 20s, with shoulder-length hair, wearing a tank top and pants. She was seen driving a silver 4-door sedan.
High end rims, tires stolen from Dodge Charger
The owner of a gray 2019 Dodge Charger called police officers about 5 a.m. July 28, when he received an alert via his cell phone that someone was tampering with his vehicle, which he had parked in a spot near his apartment at Gale Gardens.
The vehicle owner said he had returned home about 2 a.m. after attending a family wedding celebration.
The vehicle was found nearby, with all four tires and rims removed, resting on concrete paving blocks, with the back right window smashed. Several of the car’s lug nuts were found nearby on the ground. The estimated value of the stolen rims was $2,700 for the set of four.
Vehicle vandalized at used car dealership
A businessman who had let his surveillance camera batteries die found a broken windshield on a vehicle on the sales lot at noon July 28, with no evidence available to track down the vandal.
Belle Auto Sales, at 17564 Dix Ave., reported that the back windshield of a gold 2002 Dodge Caravan was broken, but no items appeared to have been removed from the vehicle interior.
A police officer photographed the damage, and advised the man to reactivate the vehicle lot surveillance cameras.
Late night lawnmower larceny
A red Toro TimeMaster lawnmower, valued at $1,000, was stolen between midnight and 1 p.m. July 24, from outside the owner’s residential garage, near Hale and Koester streets.
The victim said no other items were missing. He said he remembers hearing a car door slam about 2 a.m., which might narrow down the possible time frame of the theft. There were no suspects, and no surveillance video which might have captured footage of the theft.
Roofing tools stolen from trailer in storage lot
Roofing tools valued at $46,500 were reported stolen July 26 from a locked trailer in a secured area at Riverview Car Wash and Storage, 18584 Fort St.
The victim said he had last seen the tools and trailer at 10 a.m. July 22, and said the trailer was closed and padlocked, with no materials outside the trailer. The stolen items included a $2,800 Grizzly deck saw, a $10,000 roof cutter, a $9,200 pneumatic jigger pick, a $2,500 hand saw, a $12,000 generator and a $10,000 seam welder.
Responding police officers found a hole cut in the fencing, through which the tools were likely removed.
The manager of nearby Industrial Woodfab and Packaging Co., 18620 Fort St., said he would review the company’s surveillance video for suspicious activity, and would forward any relevant footage to detectives.
The victim said he would compile a list of the tool serial numbers and forward the information as well.
Vehicle larceny nets cell phone at VFW hall
A $1,000 Samsung smartphone and car charger were reported stolen at 2 p.m. Aug. 14 from a locked silver 2007 Jeep Liberty parked at the Southgate Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, Post 9282, 16200 Dix-Toledo Road.
The victim said he had heard his car alarm go off about noon, but he wasn’t concerned, and simply deactivated the alarm. When he returned to his car two hours later, he discovered his cell phone and charger were missing, and his belongings were scattered on the car floor. He said no other items were missing.
The responding police officer noticed a dent under the driver’s side door handle, and saw that the handle was off-set from its normal position.
Adult tricycle stolen from driveway
A woman reported the theft of an adult tricycle the morning of Aug. 16 from her driveway in the 13000 block of Rosedale Street.
The adult tricycle was described as blue, with rust on its fenders, a basket with a chain wrapped around it and with a light secured to its front with tape.
The victim said she last saw the tricycle on Aug. 13, and said it was not secured with a chain.
Neighbor interrupts early morning car larceny
A neighbor scared off three early morning thieves Aug. 22 who had smashed the rear passenger window of a gray 2016 Dodge Charger and were rummaging through the vehicle in the 13200 block of Princeton Street.
In addition to the broken window, there was damage to the upper part of a car door near the vehicle roof.
No items were missing from the car. The neighbor said the thieves were male and dressed in black clothing.
Good Samaritan returns wallet after original finder takes its cash
A Good Samaritan returned a wallet containing a woman’s identification card the evening of Aug. 22, which she had accidentally left in a shopping cart two hours earlier at Kroger, 7000 Monroe Blvd., but the original finder already had taken $1,000 from the wallet, as well as a bank debit card, a credit card, a direct deposit card, a voter registration card and a card with her financial accounts and routing numbers on it.
The woman thanked the man, and canceled her account numbers before filing a police report.
Identity thief uses man’s info to run up Comcast bill
A Trenton resident reported Aug. 7 that an identity thief used his personal information to open an account with Comcast, for which a collection agency was now attempting to collect a $351 past due bill from him. The victim, who said he has no current accounts with Comcast, said he did not recognize the address for which services were provided.
Purse, documents stolen from car at Elizabeth Park
A fishing trip near the north pier at Elizabeth Park ended up with a woman being hooked by a thief, who reeled in her purse and baited her by using her credit cards.
The victim said that after several hours of fishing, she received an alert from her bank about possible fraudulent activity on her credit card account. She said she then realized that her purse was missing from her car, along with two credit cards and her Social Security card. Her financial institutions told her that $800 was charged to one credit card, and $200 to the other credit card.
Adult son arrested for assaulting his mother
A 43-year-old Wyandotte man was charged with assault and battery the morning of June 30 after he physically threatened his 62-year-old mother, with whom he lives on 18th Street.
The man, who had come home highly intoxicated the night before, slept in the garage on his own volition, after mistakenly believing that he was locked out of the house.
When his mother checked on him the next morning, an argument ensued, and he verbally and physically assaulted her.
The woman called 911, and when police officers arrived, the man refused to talk to them or cooperate, and was subsequently taken into custody.
Low hanging fruit: Apple iPhone delivery stolen
A package containing two Apple iPhone XS Max cell phones, collectively valued at $1,500, were stolen between 1 and 7 p.m. June 23 from a porch in the 2400 block of 20th Street. The victim said he was at work when the package was delivered.
(Compiled by Zeinab Najm and Sue Suchyta.)