Tow truck driver charged with using woman's bank card after crash in Romulus


BELLEVILLE, Mich. – An employee of a tow company was charged Thursday in connection with the use of a bank card belonging to a woman ejected in a crash in Romulus last year.

Joel Leys, 31, of Belleville, is charged with two counts of illegal use of credit card.

The crash happened May 13, 2017, at northbound I-275 and W. Huron River Drive. The driver, a young woman from Erie, Penn., was ejected and died a week later.

The victim’s family members told Michigan State Police troopers about the draining of the deceased’s checking account and sent a list of the unauthorized transactions. 

The purchases were tracked and authorities said one was from a pizza shop near the tow yard that was called to remove the victim’s vehicle from the crash scene.

The pizza shop gave authorities an address and a phone number. Both allegedly matched an employee of the tow company.

The same employee allegedly used the bank card to pay for car insurance and tickets to Michigan International Speedway.

Authorities say Leys removed the victim’s bank card from her purse, which was inside the vehicle the date of the crash.

A warrant request was submitted to the Wayne County Prosecutor on Aug. 20, 2017. The felony warrant was authorized nearly eight months later.