Bogus 911 call reveals theft in Detroit neighborhood

Neighbors want to know why Detroit police won't take stolen car wheels reports seriously

By Roger Weber - Reporter


At about 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Detroit police and an EMS truck responded to Ilene Street in Detroit.

The caller had told a 911 dispatcher that there was a dead woman at a carjacking scene. However, police and EMS found only a car with its wheels stolen.

The source of the false report is unknown. But about the car: Tina Stephens said she repeatedly called 911 to report the stolen wheels, and police never showed up.

"They tell you when you call, 'Oh, that happens,'" she said. "Like, we're supposed to accept that. That it's a way of life."

Another neighbor told Local 4 that she and her daughter called police three times about the theft. They called while the tires were being stolen. They even described the three thieves. There was no police response.

"It's distressing to think they could have got out here and apprehended them," said Stephens.

Whoever filed a false report about a body in the car could face charges for filing a false police report. The Detroit police union president said it is one sign of declining resources.

"They shouldn't do that, but I mean people are frustrated," said Detroit Police Officers Association President Joe Duncan. "They want the service they pay for."

The tires and rims were taken from the car which had been rented hours earlier by Stephens' cousin, Carita Bryant. Bryant had flown in from Los Angeles to visit Detroit, which is her hometown.

"I just wish it could rise from the ashes," said Bryant. "There has to be a phoenix story here somewhere."

The lugnuts were left near the car which was propped up on landscaping bricks. Stephens said the same kind of bricks have been used in other recent tire thefts. She wants police to take these crimes more seriously.

"It's a big deal, and now ... are we safe here?" she said.

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