5/17/24 - Several Arrests For Their Involvement In Vehicle Thefts

file image

The Attorney General says at least 6 people have been arrested for their alleged roles in stealing more than 400 vehicles across the state of Michigan.

LANSING – (AG Press Release) - Thursday, May 16, 2024,  Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced six FORCE Team arrests against members of an alleged criminal organization responsible for the theft of over 400 vehicles worth approximately $8 million in Southeast Michigan.  

The alleged criminal ring targets new vehicle storage lots at manufacturing facilities, car dealerships, parking lots, and individual residences. The operation is alleged to have operated in over 40 jurisdictions in Oakland, Washtenaw, Macomb, and Wayne counties, with other instances occurring in Eaton and Kent counties. 

The Department alleges stolen vehicles are sold exponentially below market value on the black market to buyers seeking unregistered vehicles. Stolen vehicles have been linked to armed robberies, weapons offenses, felony evasion of police, car-jackings, murder, and attempted murder. The group is suspected of using countersurveillance to steal vehicles quickly and efficiently, allegedly shooting at officers and ramming security vehicles if confronted.  

“The activities of criminal organizations like these go far beyond theft,” Nessel said. “They cause millions in financial losses to our retail partners, sow fear, and endanger lives. Vehicles stolen as part of this criminal enterprise go on to become tools in violence, posing additional threats to public safety. I commend the hard work of the FORCE Team, Troy Police Department, and other local law enforcement agencies to investigate and dismantle this operation.”  

Troy Police Department, investigating this crime ring since August of last year, partnered with the FORCE Team in early 2024 to bring down this expansive criminal organization. The investigation has been aided by the efforts of local police agencies, including the municipal police departments of Auburn Hills, Canton, Dearborn, Detroit, Eastpointe, Farmington Hills, Lansing, Livonia, Novi, Roseville, Royal Oak, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Walled Lake, and Warren, as well as the Oakland County Auto Theft Group and Macomb County Auto Theft Unit. 

“I am extremely proud of the work that has been done by my staff and all of the participating agencies to arrest and prosecute these violent and reckless criminals,” said Troy Police Chief Frank Nastasi. “Auto theft has been a significant crime trend in our region that has impacted both the residents and many community stakeholders. In addition to the economic impact of auto theft, the violent and reckless manner in which these individuals operated put all of us in danger. I deeply appreciate the work of each of the officers on the frontline yesterday morning as they stepped up to protect the residents of the State of Michigan. I also thank the States Attorney General’s Office for their guidance and resources during this complex investigation.” 

The Department and over 200 officers from more than a dozen other state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies executed eight arrest warrants against Southeast Michigan men on May 15th, six now in custody, recovering seven stolen vehicles, hundreds of associated car parts linked to stolen vehicles, a large quantity of electronic key fobs, stolen dealership license plates, burglary tools including some devices specifically for stealing automobiles, thousands in cash, and a significant volume of additional evidence, including nine firearms. On-scene and assisting in these arrests were officers from the FORCE Team, the Department’s Criminal Investigations Division, the Troy Police Department, the Michigan State Police, the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, the Detroit Police Department, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department, and the local police departments of Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Blackman Township, Bloomfield Township, Canton, Grosse Pointe City, Grosse Pointe Park, Livonia, and Royal Oak.  

"Policing relies on teamwork,” said Col. James F. Grady II, director of the Michigan State Police. “We depend on each other to effectively serve the public. This case is an excellent example of that collaboration. Yesterday’s operation will make an immediate positive impact on public safety as we continue to build a Michigan where everyone feels safe and secure.” 

Each defendant has been charged with Conducting a Criminal Enterprise and Use of a Computer to Commit a Crime, both 20-year felonies. Charged and arrested in connection to these thefts are: 

  • Kevin Lamont Stevenson Jr. (PDF), 21, of Detroit, who has been additionally charged with nine counts of Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle. 
  • Joseph David Doyle (PDF), 25, of Onsted, who has been additionally charged with six counts of Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle. 
  • Braylen Jeese Green (PDF), 20, of Wixom, who has been additionally charged with nine counts of Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle. 
  • Dejhon Trevon Bush (PDF), 20, of Detroit, who has been additionally charged with seven counts of Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle. 
  • Zamarr Terrell Johnson (PDF), 18, of Troy, who has been additionally charged with 12 counts of Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle and two counts of 4th Degree Fleeing or Eluding. 
  • Desmond Maurice Wilson (PDF), 21, of Detroit, who has been additionally charged with nine counts of Receiving and Concealing a Stolen Motor Vehicle and one count of Breaking and Entering with Intent. 

The Department is working with the Michigan State Police Fugitive Team to locate and arrest two additional suspects who will not be named at this time. 

“In my tenure of 30-plus years, I have never seen such bold and brazen thefts from new car auto dealerships,” said Rod Alberts, co-executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. "This has become an epidemic of organized criminals preying on businesses in our communities and putting law enforcement and the general public in harm’s way, not just during the theft itself, but on the streets after they have stolen the vehicles. I want to thank the Attorney General and her staff for the steps and actions they have taken. It will make a difference.”  

This remains an ongoing investigation, and the Department is working to establish cases against other members of the auto theft ring and buyers of the stolen vehicles. Each of the six defendants is presently jailed at multiple locations throughout Oakland and Macomb counties. No dates have yet been set by the court for subsequent proceedings.      

The FORCE Team and the Organized Retail Crime Unit were established in January 2023 by the Attorney General to target criminal organizations that steal products from retailers to repackage and sell for a profit. Two assistant attorneys general serve the unit full time, working with special agents within the Department of Attorney General and Michigan State Police detectives to investigate and prosecute these crimes. The FORCE team also partners with the FBI’s Detroit Fraud and Financial Crimes Task Force and the Postal Inspection Service. This is a first-in-the-nation unit, unique in the 50 states as being the first such unit with embedded, dedicated staff from the Department of Attorney General.   

The FORCE Team is dedicated to working collaboratively with retailers and local law enforcement agencies to combat organized retail crime. Recent corporate partners on investigations have included Sam’s Club/WalmartMeijerTarget, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, Rite-Aid, Lululemon, Ulta, and Lowe’s. The team’s first major investigation produced charges against seven individuals early last year. Local law enforcement agencies or retailers with evidence of organized retail fraud are encouraged to email the ‘FORCE’ Team

More from Featured

On Air Now WCSG Music
For All My Life Taya 4:30am
Counting My Blessings Seph Schlueter 4:26am
Encouraging Words From Your Bible

Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

JAMES 1:27 | MSG
Family-Friendly Commercial-Free
91.3 WCSG
Grand Rapids / Lakeshore
88.3 WCXK
Kalamazoo
90.9 WCFG
Battle Creek
89.9 WCXB
Benton Harbor