Detroit/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on March 04, 2024
Detroit Trio Charged in Alleged Vehicle Theft Scheme at Macomb County DealershipSource: Macomb County Sheriff's Office

A trio of Detroit men have been slapped with charges in an alleged auto theft ring bust in Northern Macomb County, officials report. In a sting operation conducted by the Macomb Auto Theft Squad (MATS), the suspects attempted to swipe a 2024 Chevy Tahoe from Heidebreicht Chevrolet, sparking a dramatic police response, complete with a helicopter-assisted manhunt.

Damar Walston, Dwayne Williams, and Deon Brooks, all 23, were busted after investigators began to surveil the dealership following the earlier theft of a Tahoe on Jan. 12. According to a statement obtained by WWJ Newsradio, a "key swap" appeared to be their modus operandi, a tactic highlighted by the dealership's surveillance capturing the Tahoe's lights flashing—a dead giveaway that the suspects had the keys.

It was on the evening of Feb. 29 that the deputies, lying in wait, saw a gray Blazer station itself suspiciously at a gas station across from the dealership. The MATS team watched as the Blazer, housing the alleged thieves, cruised the lot and parked before one suspect, later ID'd as Walston and decked out in all black with a ski mask, made to openly commandeer the SUV. That's when officers swooped in, though not before Walston could attempt to start the targeted Tahoe, Patch reports.

As Walston was being apprehended, his accomplices tried to flee, leading the police on a high-speed chase. The Blazer, impaired by stop sticks deployed by the police, was forced to stop south of the dealership, though not before Williams and Brooks decided to turn tail into the woods. Their flight was short-lived, with Shelby Township police and a State Police helicopter quick to assist in their capture, Macomb Daily detailed.

Charges against the trio include unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle and conspiracy to commit the same. Williams and Brooks also racked up charges for assaulting and resisting a police officer, with Brooks further facing charges for fourth-degree fleeing a police officer. All three initially faced a $25,000 bond, with Walston remaining in custody and his supposedly quick-handed colleagues, Williams and Brooks, having posted bond. Investigations are still underway to potentially bring more suspects into the fold.