MSP gas station check nets stolen car, heroin

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Michigan State Police gas station check on Detroit’s west side early Thursday morning resulted in the recovery of an allegedly stolen car and an arrest, state police said. The person arrested was also accused of carrying a packet of heroin, police say.

The gas station checks have been a regular MSP practice under the Secure Cities Partnership, said Lt. Mike Shaw. Gas stations are “an area of concern” in Detroit, he said.

Earlier this month, Mayor Mike Duggan rolled out “Project Green Light Detroit,” a partnership between the city and eight 24-hour gas stations to spur investment in high-definition video cameras, which are watched in real-time by the police.

“Under the program, participating businesses have invested $5,000 to $6,000 each to equip their stations with high-definition interior and exterior video cameras, enhanced lighting systems, a highly visible green light and signs,” previous News coverage of Project Green Light Detroit explained. “The partnership links the live video feed from each of the stores to the Detroit Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center.”

Thursday’s action was not part of that effort, but Shaw said troopers assigned to the Metro Post will sometimes leave the freeways they patrol to check on gas stations in the city.

“Seeing a state police vehicle tends to break up suspicious activity very quickly,” Shaw said.

At 2:45 a.m., at the Shell Gas Station on Fort and Schaefer, troopers observed a Pontiac Grand Am “parked running by the front doors” of the station. When troopers approached, the driver hopped out of the vehicle.

“Upon further investigation, it was determined the vehicle had been stolen out of Lincoln Park,” MSP said in a press release. “The driver, a 37-year-old male from Detroit, was arrested. A search of his person was conducted,” at which point troopers allegedly found a heroin packet in his coat pocket.

“The vehicle was confirmed stolen by its owner and they were given information on how to recover their vehicle,” MSP said, and the driver was arrested and booked at the Detroit Detention Center. MSP has completed a warrant request and presented it to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, which will decide whether to bring charges.