DEARBORN, Mich. – A pair of serial Metro Detroit airbag thieves were caught in the act at a Dearborn hotel, and officials said they recovered 33 stolen airbags/steering wheels.
Dearborn police said they recently began investigating a rise in airbag thefts across Metro Detroit. General Motors vehicles have been the primary targets, especially the Chevrolet Malibu, according to authorities.
Officers said they watched Montazer Al-Huchaimy and Ali Alwatan around 3 a.m. Thursday (Aug. 18) as the men smashed through the window of a Malibu in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn at 6355 Mercury Drive.
The men removed the steering wheel and took off, authorities said.
Police pursued Al-Huchaimy and Alwatan, who were fleeing in a vehicle, according to officials. They were ultimately taken into custody at the end of the chase, police said.
A stolen vehicle and 33 stolen airbags/steering wheels were recovered, according to authorities.
“Vehicle thefts cause great pain and disruption to our residents’ lives and livelihoods,” Dearborn police Chief Issa Shahin said. “That’s why the Dearborn Police Department takes these alleged crimes very seriously. I am proud of the work of our officers to thoroughly investigate and ultimately apprehend two individuals in connection with this rash of thefts across Metro Detroit.”
Al-Huchaimy and Alwatan were charged Sunday with fleeing and eluding, larceny from a motor vehicle, receiving and concealing stolen property, and assaulting a police officer.
They were arraigned at 19th District Court. Al-Huchaimy is being held on a $100,000 cash bond, or 10%. Alwatan is being held on a $75,000 cash bond.
They must wear GPS tethers, if released.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for Sept. 2, and a preliminary examination is scheduled for Sept. 9.