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Suspect steals cab during crime spree starting in Hazel Park

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 18:28:13-04

A two hour crime spree starting in Hazel Park ended with three people hospitalized and a taxicab destroyed.

The driver of the taxi is still recovering from his injuries in the hospital. 

The spree started with a robbery, according to the Hazel Park Police Department.

A woman had a male acquaintance to her home on Mahan, when he tried to steal her phone. 

"There was a struggle over the phone I believe, she was pushed down by him and he left with the phone,” said Hazel Park Police Chief, Brian Buchholz.

He said the suspect got away with her phone, cash and debit card and the woman called police. 

"As the officer was taking the report, at the house from her, we hear this carjacking report come out, not far away,” said Buchholz.

That’s where the cab driver comes in, police said the cab picked up the same man accused of stealing the woman’s phone.  

"The suspect pulled out a knife and threatened the driver and pushed him out of the car and the victim was injured as the car pulled away,” said Buchholz.

The company the cab driver works for is a family owned business, A-1 Transportation.

The father-daughter duo who run it are devastated this happened.

"It's the first time it's ever happened and I've been doing this for 34 years - first time,” said Ken White of A-1 Transportation.  

"Our safety or drivers and passengers is always our top priority and the fact that this happened has all shaken up a bit,” said his daughter, Kristy White.

According to officers, the suspect went back to the home he stole the phone from, inside the stolen cab. That’s where officers tried to pull him over, but he wouldn’t stop and he took police on a chase.

"He got on 696, then southbound 75, then I-94,” said Buchholz.

According to officers, the suspect exited at Van Dyke and then crashed the stolen cab into another vehicle, sending two more people to the hospital.  Buchholz said their injuries appear to be minor. 

Now police do have the suspect in custody, he could face life in prison.

"He was definitely a very violent individual and that's why officers tried to pursue him. We were worried about the safety of the victims and other people,” said Buchholz.

The suspected is expected to be arraigned in court on Thursday.