WYANDOTTE (WXYZ) — Wyandotte police have a 61-year-old man from Flat Rock and a 40-year-old Lincoln Park man in custody. The men are suspected of stealing from homes and businesses and impersonating police.
The two were arrested Monday night after a vehicle pursuit and a foot chase.
Deputy Police Chief Archie Hamilton told 7 Action News that an alert officer first spotted the suspicious men outside a CVS on Northline Road when one of them exited a vehicle and rushed into the store and rushed out moments later.
Police have been paying extra attention to retail stores in the area because of a rise in thefts.
Hamilton said criminals have found it easy to use masks meant for COVID protection to disguise their identity.
After the man ran back to a burgundy Mazda, the driver sped off and ran a stop sign. The officer suspected the man may have stolen something so he decided to make a traffic stop, but the driver took off at a high rate of speed.
About a half-mile away, the 40-year-old man who was driving the Mazda abruptly stopped the car and the 61-year-old passenger jumped out and took off on foot.
The officer was able to arrest the driver who reportedly told him that the man who ran off was armed with a gun.
That second suspect ran through backyards before trying to hide in a tree next to a house.
Police body-cam video shows the officers giving orders to the man to show his hands and come out, but he refused.
One officer was able to pull the man out from under the tree and he was placed under arrest.
And it turns out the men are both ex-cons with lengthy criminal histories, according to Hamilton, who added that inside the vehicle officers found a real police badge, handcuffs, a full mask, a lot of cash, a woman's purse with personal belongings in it, a watch, and a number of tools they believe the men used to break into homes and businesses.
Hamilton said crystal methamphetamine and cocaine were also found in the vehicle and police believe the men were under the influence of the drugs.
Click on the video to hear from Deputy Chief Hamilton and see officers arrest the suspect who fled on foot.