Detroit police say these eight suspects are just the tip of the iceberg for more than 30 robberies throughout the city.


Detroit — Police have five men in custody Wednesday but say three suspects still are at-large in connection with 25 smash-and-grabs in the city, officials said. 

Deputy Chief David LeValley said the eight suspects were linked as acquaintances involved in robberies dating back to Jan. 12. 

"Individuals are taking (stolen) vehicles, smashing it into the front of the businesses and stealing contents from the business," LeValley said. "A lot of these instances have occurred at liquor stores and cellphone stores across the city not in one particular area."

Detroit police secured eight warrants earlier this week on 135 alleged felonies, charging individuals with numerous thefts. Police say two suspects were placed in custody through tips Wednesday and hope the public can help locate three others:

  • Mark Xavier Allen, 19, 6-feet, 180 pounds, black hair and brown eyes. 
  • Decharles West, 19, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, black hair and brown eyes. 
  • Ivan Dayshared Austin, 19, 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, black hair and brown eyes. 

LeValley said there have been 30 break-ins, including the 25 break-ins tied to the eight suspects, to Detroit businesses this year connected to a larger group. 

"These eight individuals charged this week are just the tip of the iceberg on what we anticipate charging. We are certain there are more individuals than just these eight," LeValley said. 

While he couldn't provide an exact number of how many could be involved, he said Detroit police detectives are constantly deployed each night in response to these "not well-organized operations." 

"Because they may get away that night, that doesn't mean they will get away with the act," he said. "Fugitive teams are pursuing these individuals. ... We definitely take this seriously. We anticipate more arrests of this crew."

The department's crime unit has found suspects advertising the stolen items — which have included high-end liquor, cigarettes, cellphones and electronics — online. 

"It's mostly liquor stores, but we found that barbershops were also targets because there were large televisions on the wall. But really it's any place that has things of value that can be moved quickly," he said. 

Suspects also are stealing large SUVs and pickup trucks. Police advise community members to pay attention to these vehicles backing up into a business and report any suspicious actions to the Detroit Police Department.


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