High-end tracking device helps man find stolen vehicle, plus shut down Detroit auto theft ring

Car was stolen from Ypsilanti, and police found it on Cloverlawn Avenue on Detroit’s west side

DETROIT – A repeat car theft victim decided that enough was enough, and now a Detroit chop shop is out of business.

“I put a GPS on it so it could be followed,” said Dmaki Abdullah. “I made a call to the police immediately.”

Three times now, Abdullah has had his Chrysler 300 Sport stolen. But this time, a high-end tracking device helped him quickly locate it and helped police uncover a more extensive criminal operation.

The car was stolen from Ypsilanti, and police found it on Cloverlawn Avenue on the city’s west side.

The Detroit Police Department Commercial Auto Theft Unit shut down a fairly prolific chop shop Thursday (June 1) morning, thanks to Abdullah’s quick thinking and calmness.

By finding his stolen car, he helped find another half dozen others.

“I woke up this morning, and my car got stolen,” Abdullah said. “It’s the third time it’s been stolen.”

Abdullah’s been through the wringer as the weeks of inconvenience, going without while police investigate the situation.

“I put a GPS on it so it could be followed,” Abdullah said. “I made a call to the police immediately.”

He spent about $700 and installed the Linkr app, which allowed him to find his Chrysler 300 in the yard of a home on Cloverlawn Avenue.

“One of my family members stays on the west side of Detroit, and I had a location on my phone, and she went there right away, and we looked and saw it was in the back and immediately called the police,” Abdullah said.

Abdullah says his car wasn’t gone 40 minutes when he found it. And the scene of an open-air chop shop and parts market operating in a residential neighborhood shocked him.

“I just seen my car stripped,” Abdullah said. “I seen the front end of my car just took apart and people moving parts.”

DPDs auto theft unit swooped in on the place and arrested the homeowner, who ran when the cops showed up.

Detroit police Lt. Dana Russell was thankful Abdullah led her team to the house and didn’t try to confront the thief himself.

“The citizens play a huge role in what we do and how we apprehend people, and everybody did what they were supposed to today,” said Russell.

“It’s really difficult because I work hard for my stuff; we all working; I’m a working man,” Abdullah said. “I was doing the right thing, don’t steal nobody’s stuff; I don’t. It’s already hard enough out here; you know what I’m saying?”

The auto theft unit had to get a search warrant to get into the other cars. They towed them all away from the house, and an investigation is ongoing.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.