FERNDALE, Mich. – Four men have been arrested for ransacking hundreds of unlocked vehicles and stealing 11 cars throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties over the last year, police said.
A rash of thefts from unlocked vehicles in September prompted a thorough investigation by the Ferndale Police Department.
Officials said they identified Carlos Byars-Walker, 21, of Detroit; Wellington Littles, 17, of Pontiac; Corey Rashada, 21, of Highland Park; and Kiron Walker-McNeil, 17, of Detroit, as suspects in the investigation.
Police said the men would walk through different neighborhoods on an almost nightly basis to check for unlocked vehicles. They would steal anything of value, including change, cellphones, credit cards, debit cards and vehicles, according to authorities.
One or more of the men would visit the same location in Detroit to use a machine that turns loose change into cash, police said.
Ferndale police believe the four men are responsible for 65 of the 145 reported thefts from vehicles in Ferndale this year. They are also responsible for at least three stolen vehicles in the city, officials said.
Ferndale police estimate the men were also responsible for at least 40 additional unreported thefts from vehicles in the city.
They are also suspected of hundreds of additional larcenies from unlocked vehicles throughout Metro Detroit, police said.
Ferndale police detectives said they recovered 11 stolen vehicles from various jurisdictions attributed to the men during the the course of the investigation.
Byars-Walker was arrested Sept. 19 by Ferndale police officers conducting surveillance in the 20000 block of Russell Street in Detroit, authorities said.
Walker-McNeil, Rashada and Littles were arrested Sept. 25 at Oakland Mall in Troy, police said. All three were in possession of a different stolen vehicle at the time, according to authorities.
Each jurisdiction involved in the case is seeking arrest warrants for the crimes committed in their areas, Ferndale police said.
The men are also believed to have been involved in incidents in Detroit, Farmington, Grosse Pointe Park, Hazel Park, Lansing, Oak Park and Warren, officials said.
Byars-Walker and Littles are each charged with one count of receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle.
Walker-McNeil is charged with two counts of receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle.
Rashada is charged with three counts of receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle, two counts of possession of a stolen financial transaction device and one count of unlawful driving away of an automobile.
Additional charges are expected in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties as other jurisdictions complete their investigations, Ferndale police said.
Here are all the agencies involved in the investigation:
- Detroit Police Department
- FBI -- Detroit Violent Gang Task Force
- Wayne County ACTION Task Force
- Oakland County Auto Theft
- Oakland County Sheriff Aviation Unit
- Oak Park Public Safety
- Troy Directed Patrol Unit
- Troy Special Investigations Unit
- Warren Police Department