By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – A 36-year-old Melvindale man is in custody for the Jan. 4 theft of two battery charging packs and three power impact wrenches, collectively valued at $2,300, from Dix Auto Clinic.
The repair shop, located at 18809 Dix Road, had a bay window shattered with an axe at 12:19 a.m. Jan. 4, which the owners, brothers Hussein and Abbas Aoun, discovered about 9 a.m. that morning.
Surveillance footage from the repair shop showed a white male wearing a hooded black coat, blue jeans and tan boots, with a black backpack, walking around the building, and attempting unsuccessfully to open a door. The man then returned with an axe, which he used to smash a window to gain entry.
After entering the building through the broken window, the footage shows him exiting with the two battery charging packs.
The investigating police officers were able to obtain additional footage of the man from nearby Tomboy’s Liquor, 18800 Dix Road, which is directly across from Dix Auto Clinic.
Using the LeadsOnline database, which records transactions that are required by law to be documented, and is available through the Dearborn Police Department, the investigating officers were able to find a Dec. 26 photo of the suspect selling a cell phone at an in-store kiosk, during which he was wearing the same clothing observed during the repair shop break-in, and in possession of a similar backpack.
The afternoon of Jan. 5, police officers obtained a search warrant for the house of the parents of a suspect who lived two blocks south of the repair shop, who has a history of illegal drug use and theft, and who matched the image on the surveillance footage.
After taking the man into custody while he was riding a bicycle nearby, police officers executed the search warrant at his parents’ house.
Police officers found boots matching what the suspect was wearing in the surveillance footage, and an axe similar to the one used to break the bay door window.
Another axe matching the description was later found under a car on the grounds of the repair shop.
When executing the search warrant, the investigating police officers also found a battery charger pack matching the description of one of the stolen items.
When the battery pack was later shown to repair shop co-owner Hussein Aoun, pointed to an engraving on the pack, “H DIX,” and explained the “H” was for his first initial, and the “DIX” was for the shop name.
Later, during questioning at the Dearborn police station, the suspect admitted to having a drug problem, and said he considers himself homeless, but will occasionally stay at his parents’ house.
The man said he has an appointment to enter a rehab center at the end of January.
Without incriminating himself with respect to the repair shop break-in, the man expressed remorse for the victims of the thefts he commits to support his drug habit.