Detroit police seek thieves who targeted first responder, Army vet

'This individual is very gifted,' victim says

DETROIT – Police are looking for people responsible for thefts captured on camera before they strike again.

The victims were talking to each other on the phone at the time when the thieves targeted their vehicle parked on Grayfield Street, near Telegraph Road and I-96.

“We’re risking our life to go out and do our part,” said Karen Richardson-Littleton. “To have someone steal from us is hard.”

The couple are local heroes -- Richardson-Littleton works as an ER tech at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and her husband is an Army veteran who served in the Gulf War.

The theft happened June 27 at about 7:30 a.m. Surveillance video from the scene shows the thieves were prepared and knew what the were doing. Video captured someone get dropped off, crawl under their Ford Escape, remove the catalytic converter and get picked up within two minutes.

Richardson-Littleton had just finished her shift at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and was speaking to her husband as she drove home. He heard alarms and went to check outside where he saw something hanging from underneath the SUV.

In the midst of a pandemic, it cost the couple more than $500 for a new catalytic converter.

“It’s very unnecessary, scary and unnecessary,” Richardson-Littleton said. “And it’s hard.”

She said her family is angry and disappointed. She said it’s clear the man who crawled under their vehicle knows his way around cars and knew what he was doing.

“This individual is very gifted. Do the work to get a career if you’re that good at automotive,” Richardson-Littleton said. “We’ll hire you. Everybody needs a good mechanic.”

Anyone with information is urged to call the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-2200.

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