Suspects pose as Detroit cops in robberies, assaults

Mark Hicks and Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Detroit police are continuing their search for two men who posed as police officers during at least three robberies late Wednesday and early Thursday, including one that involved a violent assault.

No arrests had been made as of late Friday, and Detroit police are seeking tips from the public to help identify the suspects.

“It’s three (robberies) that are known about,” said Detroit Police Officer Dan Donakowski. “There could have been more that we just don’t know about.”

At about 10 p.m. Wednesday, the two suspects reportedly approached a man in his driveway near Fenton and Grand River, held him up at gunpoint and drove away with his red Ford Mustang.

Then at about 4 a.m. Thursday, two men driving a red sports car, believed to be a Mustang, approached a 55-year-old woman in her vehicle near the 1800 block of West Grand. One of the men approached the driver’s side, identified himself as a police officer and then “struck the victim with a hammer and proceeded to rob” her, Donakowski said.

The woman’s purse, cellphone and an undisclosed amount of money were taken before the pair fled, he said. She was taken to a hospital and listed in temporary serious condition.

Police believe the suspects then drove the Mustang to a Mobil station, where they spotted a 24-year-old woman. After following her out of the gas station, they forced her vehicle to a stop, then robbed her.

The Mustang was later recovered and is being held as evidence by police. Due to damage on the car, it appears the suspects may have side-swiped several cars.

The first suspect is described as African-American, about 5-feet 9-inches tall, with a mustache, short Afro and dark complexion. The other is described as African-American, 6-feet tall, with a goatee, mustache and light complexion.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Detroit Police Commercial Auto Theft unit at (313) 596-2555 or Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.