DETROIT - Police from several agencies paid surprise visits to suspected members of an auto theft rein today in raids that stretched from Detroit to the suburbs. Investigators recovered several stolen vehicles during the raids.
Several arrests and search warrants were executed in Wayne and Oakland counties on Friday as part of a theft and fraud investigation.
Hamtramck police said the investigation stemmed from a stolen vehicle and turned into possible insurance fraud involving the Somerset Collisions Shop on John R Road in Detroit.
Neighbors have seen this scene play out before at this auto shop.
"Not too surprised," Anthony Miles said. "But I just came around to make a look."
Miles says he remembers the shop being raided in 2007, after allegations of several million dollars in insurance fraud. In 2012, the ring leader, Norman Dehko, pleaded guilty to insurance fraud conspiracy, saying that they made a claim for payment, knowing that it contained false information. He added that he did so intending to deceive the insurance company.
Dehko was sentenced to five years probation, with the first seven months in jail.
Leslie Hines, a friend of a recent customer of Somerset, says the shop is still up to its same tricks.
"They were showing stuff on the insurance, where the insurance paid for it, they claimed they didn't, but they did," Hines said.
A SWAT team and officers from Grosse Pointe Park, Harper Woods, Highland Park and Detroit are involved in the investigation, which began around 9 a.m. on Friday.
Police said other stolen vehicles have been found.
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