Man sent to federal prison after botched auto theft at Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

DETROIT - A harrowing getaway attempt at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel has landed a local man in federal prison.

Prosecutors said he used his car as a weapon and tried to run over federal agents in an attempt to avoid being arrested for breaking into cars parked by the border. 

Homeland Security agents had to jump out of the way as Montez Gantz plowed through the wooden arm of the parking garage gate toward the federal agents.

Gantz is allegedly a career car thief, with arrests in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017. For this arrest, Gantz chose to steal from one of the worst places you could think of -- the parking garage at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, where local, state and federal police park and patrol 24 hours a day. 

Prosecutors said Gantz decided to steal a car inside and, when a suspicious citizen notified Border Patrol, agents swooped in and blocked the exit. Instead of giving up, Gantz backed up and floored it through the gate. Security surveillance photos show the agents literally jumping out of the way.

The federal agents said the lives of pedestrians on the sidewalk were also put in danger by a car thief with little regard for the law or human life.

Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

Gantz asked for leniency because he just became a father to a little girl. The judge denied the request and said he should have thought of that before. 

He was sentenced to three years in a prison facility that ensures he will learn a job trade before he is released. He could also face between one and 15 years for a parole violation.