Grosse Pointe Shores
Police recover ‘massive amount’ of stolen tools, equipment
Posted May 24, 2017
A search warrant executed after a construction equipment larceny in Grosse Pointe Shores yielded more than just the items stolen in that one incident.
Make that a lot more. Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Director John Schulte said that when officers from his department searched the St. Clair Shores home and Roseville storage unit of their 31-year-old male suspect the morning of May 23, they collected three pickup trucks and two dump trucks’ worth of power and construction tools. In all, the amount of equipment was valued at an estimated $100,000.
“It’s the largest seizure that I think I’ve ever had on a search warrant” in both amount of items and value, said Schulte, who was also with the Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Department for 32 years before taking the helm in the Shores.
It all began when the suspect allegedly snatched construction equipment and tools from a trailer while a crew was working at a house under construction on Lake Shore Road around 12:22 p.m. May 19. Members of the crew spotted the suspect and were able to provide police with a description of his vehicle, which fled the scene and headed north on Lake Shore.
One of the city’s relatively new traffic cameras, at Lake Shore and Vernier roads, captured clear footage of not only the suspect’s vehicle, but also the license plate.
“We’re really proud of the camera system, because it did what it was supposed to do,” Schulte said.
Police used that information to get the identity of the suspect and his address, and then obtained search warrants for the suspect’s home and a storage unit that they discovered he was renting in Roseville. The storage unit was packed “floor to ceiling with stolen landscape, construction equipment and power tools,” a police report states.
Schulte said the haul includes about 25 cordless drills and 25 tool buckets, and multiple Sawzalls, tile cutters, chargers, construction radios and more. He said police have now started to contact other local police departments to see if any of the items they recovered might have been stolen during larcenies in their jurisdictions. Schulte said it might be difficult to identify the owners of some of the stolen items, but they want to return as much as possible to the rightful owners.
“We recovered a massive amount of stolen property,” Schulte said. “We are just beside ourselves trying to sort it out and tag it all. The work’s just beginning, but it was an excellent recovery and arrest.”
At press time, Schulte said the suspect hadn’t yet been arraigned. He’s likely to face a number of larceny charges. Schulte said the suspect, who is unemployed, has a history of committing similar offenses.
He praised Shores Detective Lt. Scott Rohr and the other officers who worked on the search and recovery for doing “an excellent job.”
“We’re happy to recover (these items) and we’re happy to work with the other jurisdictions on this,” Schulte said.
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