Thieves use car crusher on hundreds of stolen vehicles, run marijuana grow operation in Detroit

2 people taken into custody

A portable car crusher impounded as part of an illegal car crushing operation on March 2, 2022, on Detroit's west side. (WDIV)

DETROITDetroit police uncovered a lucrative criminal operation in which a group of thieves used a portable car crusher to destroy hundreds of stolen vehicles while also running a marijuana grow operation, officials said.

Police said they discovered the car crusher Wednesday (March 2) at a used car lot in the area of Joy Road and Schaefer Highway on Detroit’s west side.

BONUS: Watch as Detroit officials saw through lock, pry open doors to find hundreds of marijuana plants

“We’ve been looking at this location for quite awhile now,” Detroit police Lt. Clive Stewart said. “We received information that they were crushing vehicles. We found out that the location is not even zoned to crush vehicles.”

Thieves dropped off hundreds of stolen cars that were crushed, he said.

Cars found at the scene of an illegal car crushing operation on March 2, 2022, on Detroit's west side. (WDIV)

“They’re using a portable crusher and crushing the vehicles to either re-sell for scrap, or maybe just to hide the fact that the vehicles were stolen, and now they’re crushed,” Stewart said.

Officials also forced their way into a building that they suspected was being used as a marijuana grow operation. When they got inside, they found hundreds of marijuana plants, which will be confiscated, according to authorities.

“There is an illegal grow operation going on, as well,” Stewart said. “Inside one of the adjoining buildings on the property.”

Marijuana plants found at the scene of an illegal car crushing operation on March 2, 2022, on Detroit's west side. (WDIV)

Two people have been taken into custody, he said. A warrant will be presented for review.

Police said because of the money involved in this scheme, it’s considered a criminal enterprise and will lead to serious charges.

“We have found out that they have crushed hundreds of motor vehicles valuing well over half a million dollars’ worth of cars,” Stewart said.

Heavy towing equipment was brought in to impound the car crusher. Several vehicles were also removed.

Watch Tim Pamplin’s report from Wednesday night below:

A used car lot of Detroit's west side between Schaefer Highway and Joy Road was surrounded by Detroit police who were trying to get into the building as they suspected a Marijuana growing operation inside. The operation started when police found a car crusher not doing what it was made to do.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.