DEARBORN, Mich. – Police say a bar on Michigan Avenue in Detroit was serving up a whole lot more than just drinks.
They say it served as a marketplace for stolen items and was part of a major theft ring that operated for years.
It seems to be business as normal at Cas Bar. It is a place customers feel right at home.
“All I know her is by Mama Joe,” said one loyal customer.
The customer didn’t want to be identified. The owner is known to customers as "Mama Joe."
She is the mother of the bar and takes care of every customer.
But Dearborn police have depicted the woman in a different way. They say she is the ring leader of an alleged organized retail fraud enterprise.
“Items recovered include large amounts of cash, weapons, booze, drugs, the cash totaling $620,000,” said Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad.
Those are just some of the stolen items Haddad said 70-year old Beverly ‘Mama Jo' Sassin, 38-year-old Amanda Lynn Mosed, 49-year-old Jodie Beth Welbes and 45-year-old Christopher Buchannion were stealing and selling.
Target, Home Depot, Kroger and Meijer are just some of the stores attorney Fadwa Hammoud said they targeted.
“This is a prominent crime that is happening in our communities, and the message is we are no longer tolerating it,” said Hammoud.
The four suspects are charged with eight felony charges. They are due back in court on Dec. 7.