HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Michigan. – Thieves made their way through a wall of glass at a Canton of Highlands car dealership leaving with four high-end vehicles, police said.
Officials said the vehicles were stolen Wednesday (September 29) from Szott Dodge on East Highland Road. The thefts were linked to a series of break-ins at gas stations in the Township of Waterford and the Township of White Lake, according to the authorities.
During the gas station break-ins, money, cigarettes and other items were stolen by thieves who matched the description of those responsible for targeting the dealership, police said.
Cars stolen from dealerships
MPs were called to Szott Dodge on Wednesday when the crime was reported. An employee told officers an office side door was found lying in the parking lot and several other doors were damaged, including a glass wall, which was shattered, officials said.
The office had been ransacked and a locker containing key rings was open, authorities said.
Four vehicles were stolen: a white 2021 Dodge Durango Hellcat SRT, a black 2021 Dodge Durango GT, a black 2021 Dodge Ram TRX and a black 2017 Dodge Charger Hellcat SRT, officials said.
Oakland County officials said they heard of the gas station break-ins while investigating the incident at the car dealership.
In total, the four stolen vehicles are valued at $ 329,000.
4 arrests made
Police have made four arrests in connection with the case, but those detained are not believed to be the ones responsible for the break-ins, authorities said.
Detectives from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Auto Theft Unit have been called to Birmingham on reports of a white Dodge Durango that matched the description of the one stolen from the dealership.
Officials said they tried to stop the Durango, but the driver crushed it against a brick wall, rendering it unusable.
Three Detroit men, ages 32, 20 and 19, were arrested and taken to Oakland County Jail. A 15-year-old boy – the younger brother of one of the three arrested men – was later taken into custody, authorities said. He is being held at the Oakland County Children’s Village.
MPs found a semi-automatic handgun loaded with an extended magazine containing 30 rounds inside the vehicle, they said. A computer used to reprogram key chains has also been discovered, officials said.
“It was an excellent job of police cooperation which resulted in the arrest of many people involved in what was clearly a commercial car theft ring,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard. “In addition, the fact that they were carrying guns during the commission of their crime shows their willingness to be violent if cornered. I am very proud of the detective’s work and I am happy that these people are no longer on the streets.
Police said two of the men inside the Durango were carrying $ 5,800 in $ 100 and $ 20 bills. One of them admitted to buying the vehicle from the thieves for $ 5,000 in cash, authorities said.
The vehicle was valued at around $ 100,000, officials said.
The complaint has been presented to prosecutors as detectives continue to work to identify the thieves.
A reward of up to $ 1,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Callers can remain anonymous.
Other recovered vehicles
Police said the remaining stolen vehicles were recovered in Detroit and Livonia with help from officials from Detroit Commercial Auto Theft, White Lake Township Police, Birmingham Police and Livonia Police.
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