Ferndale police bust thieves targeting vacant houses while responding to unrelated call

Officers watch houses until thieves return

Derrion Taylor-McKinney and Tyler MIller (WDIV)

FERNDALE, Mich. - Ferndale police caught three people stealing from vacant homes Tuesday while responding to an unrelated call.  

Police said they were investigating the unrelated call in the area of Woodward Avenue and 8 Mile Road about 1:45 p.m. when they found an open and broken lock box. Since realtors often use the boxes on houses that are for sale, the officers started checking vacant homes in the area.

The officers found a house with an unlocked door on W. Bennett Avenue and another on Edgewood Place. Police said a water heater in the Edgewood house looked like it had recently been moved from the basement to just inside the back door, so they set up surveillance on both houses.

Police said the houses appeared to have been prepped for easy removal of appliances during prior visits.

A 2001 Pontiac Aztek pulled into the backyard of the Edgewood house within about 15 minutes, police said. An officer walked toward the house while others stayed behind in vehicles. The officer encountered a man, identified as Derrion Taylor-McKinney, 19, of Detroit, near the water heater.

The officer chased Taylor-McKinney, tackled him in a nearby front yard and arrested him. Police said they found a key to the W. Bennett house in his sock.    

Two other people were arrested without incident while sitting in the Aztec. The Oakland County prosecutor charged Taylor-McKinney and one other person in connection with the crimes. The third person was released, pending an investigation.

Taylor-McKinney is charged with two counts of second-degree home invasion, one count of possession of burglary tools and one count of resisting/obstructing arrest. 

Tyler Miller, 19, of Detroit, is charged with two counts of second-degree home invasion and one count of possession of burglary tools.

Both men were issued $25,000 personal bonds. 

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