Smoke shop burglaries in Macomb County lead to police chase, crash, 4 arrests

Investigators track down group targeting smoke shops around Macomb County

GF Default - Police arrest suspected Macomb County break-in crew after chase in Shelby Township
GF Default - Police arrest suspected Macomb County break-in crew after chase in Shelby Township

SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Investigators said a string of smoke shop burglaries in Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, Macomb Township and Shelby Township led to a police chase, a crash and four arrests when the group was caught in the act.

Officials said the smoke shop break-ins began several months ago across Macomb County. Sterling Heights police put together a team to track the crew, which eventually led them to a smoke shop in Shelby Township, police said.

Police arrived at the smoke shop at 24 Mile and Hayes roads around 3:30 a.m. Friday. Officers from Sterling Heights and Shelby Township watched and waited.

“It’s a cat and mouse game,” Sterling Heights police Lt. Mario Bastianelli said.

When the thieves left, they drove off in three different cars, police said. Officers pulled two over without a problem, but the third took off.

That car led police on a chase that ended near 21 Mile Road and Van Dyke, according to authorities. The driver eventually surrendered, and police found stolen goods in the car, officials said.

All four suspects were taken into custody, police said.

“It’s frustrating,” Shelby Township police Detective Lt. Pat Barnard said. “Sometimes you know the people involved but have to be able to prove it.”

“It’s just an outstanding job by everyone,” Bastianelli said. “(They) put some serious criminals back in jail.”

Officials from the other cities involved are looking at their cases to see if the four suspects can be charged for those crimes, according to authorities.

About the Authors:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.