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Thieves break into Warren auto shop, steal 2 vehicles and 100 sets of car keys

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 17:38:23-05

WARREN, Mich. (WXYZ) — A police pursuit in Warren was caught on camera as officers went after thieves who broke into a car dealer's business and stole two vehicles and 100 sets of car keys.

Police say it was outstanding work by officers, who not only arrested two auto theft suspects but also took a handgun off the streets. It all started with an alarm call at Andy’s Auto Sales.

Trailing two suspected crooks, Warren police headed down 9 Mile Road, just after 3 a.m. Their sirens were blaring and lights activated. Soon after, the driver and passenger in a stolen Chrysler 300 bailed on foot but eventually ended up in handcuffs.

“The passenger was seen reaching for his waistband, which is a concern for us as far as weapons go," said Det. Lt. David Kriss. "After a brief struggle, a handgun was recovered.”

Less than 12 hours later, 7 Action News visited Andy's Auto Sales on Van Dyke. The family-owned business where it all began. The manager called attention to shoe prints, which is fresh evidence preserved by the cold.

Their repairs are now being done on a garage door window they busted out.

Thieves also cut the power, hoping to disable cameras and a siren. But failed to shut off an automatic call to 911.

“They ransacked it. Tore the alarm off the wall,” said George Porto, manager at Andy's Auto Sales.

Nearly 25 years after opening, Porto points to how times have changed.

“This is the second time in a month," he said. "The first wasn’t as bad. They took four really expensive rims off a car.”

Yet he's grateful detectives found 100 sets of stolen keys and he's still hopeful they'll catch two to three others behind the job and recover another stolen Chrysler Town and County minivan.

“We’re not going to let it affect all the time we’ve been here,” Porto said.

The 17-year-old driver from Detroit faces fleeing and eluding, auto theft, breaking and entering, resisting and obstructing and other charges.

The 20-year-old passenger from Detroit faces similar charges and carrying a concealed weapon.

“We're going to be contacting other jurisdictions with similar crimes, and it’ll be investigated thoroughly,” Det. Lt. Kriss said.

Police also say nearby used car lots had similar shoe prints left behind. The suspects remain at Warren Police Department pending arraignment. This crew could also be tied to a similar case out of Detroit, police said.

If you have any information on this case, contact Warren police.