WESTLAND, Mich. – A thief who helped steal at least 76 guns from stores in Westland and Dearborn Heights went over to his friend’s house afterward to show him the weapons, and that friend turned him and his brother in for a $20,000 reward, police said.
Westland gun store robbery
The first incident in a string of robberies took place at 4:31 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Freedom Holster Gun Shop on South Wayne Road in Westland.
A stolen Kia SUV smashed through the front of the gun shop, and seven people rushed inside.
The robbers grabbed several firearms before fleeing through the front and running east toward Hazelwood Street. They were wearing face masks, gloves, and long-sleeved shirts. Some were carrying a bag.
Authorities estimate about 50 guns were stolen. The robbers were inside the store for less than one minute.
Westland CVS robbery
Around 5 a.m. Sept. 11, two people wearing dark clothing broke into the CVS pharmacy at 7291 North Middlebelt Road in Westland.
The pharmacy is about 5.7 miles from Freedom Holster Gun Shop.
The men were in the store for less than one minute before they left with bottles of liquor, according to authorities.
Officers reviewed surveillance video from the two thefts and determined that at least one of the two men who broke into the pharmacy had also been involved in the gun store robbery. He appeared to be wearing the same clothes, including a distinctive pair of dark-colored pants with white stripes on the leg, police said.
Dearborn Heights robbery
At 5:04 a.m. Sept. 11, a stolen Dodge Journey crashed through the front of CC Coins Jewelry and Loan at 24614 West Warren Street in Dearborn Heights.
Three people went into the store through the front and stole multiple firearms, officials said. Two of them were wearing blue hooded sweatshirts and face masks, and the third person was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.
Based on surveillance footage, at least one of the three robbers was wearing the same clothing as someone from the Freedom Holster Gun Shop break-in.
Officials estimate about 22 guns were stolen.
Same Dearborn Heights business targeted
Around 12:15 a.m. Sept. 12, a stolen Chevrolet Equinox smashed through the front of CC Coins Jewelry and Loan in Dearborn Heights -- the same business that had been robbed about 19 hours earlier.
Three men went into the store, grabbed “multiple firearms,” left, and returned for more firearms, according to police. They fled about 15 minutes later, once again with “multiple firearms,” the criminal complaint says.
A special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the case and determined that the four robberies had been performed by the same group of people.
She said the gun robberies were all conducted in the same manner, with a stolen vehicle crashing into the stores in the early hours of the morning.
All the businesses that were targeted are close to each other. The CVS is 5.7 miles from Freedom Holster Gun Shop, and CC Coins Jewelry and Loan is about 2.8 miles from the CVS.
The special agent also noted that some robbers from different incidents appeared to be wearing the same clothing.
“The same group could have been involved in all three robberies, or the group could have split after the Freedom Holster Gun Shop robbery,” she wrote in the criminal complaint.
Friend turned in for reward money
Footage from the robberies was shown on the news, and authorities offered a $20,000 reward for information about the people involved.
On Sept. 12, a man went to Westland police and told them that one of his friends was among the robbers. He said he wanted to cooperate with police for reward money, authorities said.
The man told police that his friend, Keondrick Rayford, had come over to his house Sept. 11 wearing the same clothes as one of the robbers at CC Coins Jewelry and Loan. The witness said he saw video from the robbery on the news and recognized Rayford’s clothing.
The man turned over Ring doorbell footage that showed Rayford’s visit, and agents confirmed his identity, they said.
Officials said the witness told them that Rayford had showed him a backpack full of guns.
The next day, Rayford texted the witness a story about the robberies and said he was on the news. They then discussed the possibility of the witness buying some of the stolen guns, the criminal complaint says.
Rayford had showed the witness a picture of a distinct Glock handgun he wanted to sell, police said. The gun had a red dot sight, holes in the barrel, and other markings. The owner of CC Coins Jewelry and Loan confirmed the Glock appeared to be one of the guns stolen from his store.
Raymond and his brother, Kendrick Raymond, were arrested Sept. 13 and interviewed, according to authorities.
Keondrick Rayford admitted to robbing CC Coins Jewelry and Loan. He said he ran into the store both times after a car crashed into the front, grabbed guns, and put them inside a getaway car, the criminal complaint says. He ran back inside to steal more guns and put them in the getaway car, as well, officials said.
Kendrick Rayford said he didn’t participate in the robberies. He said he saw his brother in possession of the guns and physically held them himself, according to the complaint. Officials said he admitted to knowing the guns were stolen.
Police said Kendrick Rayford also admitted to taking pictures of two stolen AR-style guns so he could help his brother get rid of them. He sent the pictures to someone in an attempt to move them, authorities said.
The criminal complaint concludes there’s probable cause to charge Keondrick Rayford with theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee and knowingly possessing stolen firearms.
It also concludes there’s probable cause to charge Kendrick Rayford with knowingly possessing stolen firearms.