Madison Heights police warn residents after armed car thefts

madison heights car jacking suspects
Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 18:40:55-05

MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Police in Madison Heights are urging residents to be on alert after at least two neighborhoods were targeted by armed men stealing high performance vehicles.

Armed with an AR-15-style pistol, at least two suspects were caught on camera attempting to steal a vehicle from a driveway in the middle of the night. This incident happened on Dec. 13 on Couzens Avenue, north of Eleven Mile Road.

According to the homeowner, it wasn’t their only trip to the home and police say it wasn’t their only attempt in Madison Heights.

“There's crimes of circumstance where people go up and down the streets and try unlocked doors and try to steal property from cars, but these cars are being specifically targeted,” said Lt. Michael Siladke, a detective with the Madison Heights Police Department.

Siladke says they’ve seen a slight uptick in auto thefts lately, specifically Dodge Chargers, Challengers and Durangos with high performance packages. They've also noticed some thefts of Jeep Grand Cherokee's.

“It's very possible they could be scouting the areas and looking for the cars," Siladke said. "There's also been some recent intelligence that they could be finding them in other locations, following them home and targeting them later.”

"That makes me a little more worried because this is a safe neighborhood," resident Angela Benner said. "I haven't heard anything like that happen in this neighborhood.”

The unsuccessful attempt on Dec. 13 happened at 5:17 a.m., but police say just five days later, they believe the same suspects had a successful attempt on another Dodge vehicle less than a mile down the road.

That theft occurred on Winthrop Avenue on Dec. 18 at about 4:30 a.m.

“There was glass at the scene, so we believe they initially accessed it through breaking a window and manipulating it using whatever electric device or key fob to drive away with it,” Siladke said.

As 7 Action News previously reported, thefts of certain Dodge vehicles have been widespread in metro Detroit since thieves are easily able to clone key fobs and the cars carry high value on the black market.

Police are hoping to get the word out, especially since this crew is scoping out neighborhoods armed.

“It's very concerning," Siladke said. "That’s one of the reasons we want to get this out to the public so they know to exercise caution. Even if they think it’s just a property crime, it could be something bigger than they anticipate.”

Siladke said if you spot them, do not approach. Instead call 911.

The suspects are still at large and according to police, they’re potentially active in other nearby cities. If you have any information, you’re asked to contact the Madison Heights Police Department at 248-585-2100.

If you own one of those cars being targeted, you should store it in a garage if possible.