Stakeout leads to arrest in burglarized businesses on Detroit's Avenue of Fashion

Flagship Boutique broken into twice last week

DETROIT – A man is in custody after a stakeout by Detroit police catching thieves in the act Tuesday night.

As Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion has been making headway in its revitalization, businesses were hit non-stop by burglars last week.

“We can’t afford a loss like that,” said Ty Haygood, owner of Flagship Boutique. “We can’t afford people to just walk in and take the merchandise from us, especially around Christmastime.”

The Flagship Boutique was broken into twice last week.

Business owners met with Detroit police desperate for help, and undercover members of the Police Robbery Task Force had an idea.

Officers were confident that the burglars would come back and they wanted to be inside the business when the thieves returned.

“With our captain and our sergeant, we came up with the idea and volunteers,” said the undercover officer.

Five Detroit police officers waited quietly all of Sunday and Monday night inside the Flagship Boutique without incident. Fatigue set in overnight Tuesday and the operation was about to end, until the thieves arrived.

“Out of nowhere, here comes these guys crossing the street,” the officer said. “You’re trying to open your eyes like, ‘Is this really happening?’”

Three men, all in black wearing masks, broke through the front door.

“I’ve been in a lot of stuff with the police department, nothing like this,” the officer said. “We are used to running towards the problem. This time we had to wait for the problem to come to us. And it did.”

One man was arrested and the other two men ran from the scene.

“It worked so we’re going to keep doing it,” the officer said.

Detroit Police Captain Kenneth Balinski said the operation paid off and he’s glad for the business owners that it did.

“We’re not standing for it,” said Haygood. “We have the 12th precinct behind us, don’t try that over here.”

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