DETROIT, Mich. - Detroit has, once again, been embarrassed by the selfish act of a thief.
Now, police are looking for the man who stole a U-Haul truck filled with U. S. Secret Service equipment that was to be deployed for the Labor Day visit of Vice President Joe Biden. The familiar white & orange painted U-Haul van and some of the equipment have been recovered, but the search is on for a man wearing a green shirt and baggy shorts who ripped off the vehicle from the parking lot of a downtown hotel located at the corner of the street where a stage and seating had been set up for a rally and the VP's Labor Day speech.
Loaded on a flat bed truck, the stolen vehicle was spotted rolling down 3 rd street near West Grand Blvd. in Detroit's New Center area, just after it had been officially recovered from the parking lot of an apartment building around noon today. But the story had many twists and turns before the van was found.
"My sons saw the police cars and officers in the parking lot, and I said, 'Oh No!'", Rolanda Taylor told 7 Action News outside of her building in the 600 block of Bethune.
Rolanda said the van had been parked in the lot for a few hours when two men and a woman began unloading what appeared to be house hold furniture, but nothing that looked like government equipment of any kind. Before police arrived she said, it looked like she was about to get new neighbors.
"It was a bed frame and a mattress and some other stuff. It was nothing unusual…just looked like they were moving in."
The incident began in downtown Detroit overnight when the man in the green shirt was caught on surveillance cameras walking up to the U-haul and eventually driving it away. Hours later, it was s[potted on Detroit's northwest side at the corner of Fenkle and Dolphin where agents say some of their equipment was recovered. Police later converged on the apartment building just a block or so away from the Fisher Theatre.
Detroit police are hoping the still photos of the man will lead to tips, and the arrest of the thief who placed a damper on Labor Day celebrations in Detroit, and a visit by the vice president.