Sheriff seeks tips in gas station break-ins in Oakland, Macomb counties

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News
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Oakland County deputies are looking for the men who robbed three gas stations Monday in Metro Detroit.

The most recent, officials said, happened at a gas station in Rochester Hills. There were similar break-ins Sunday at gas stations in Utica and Warren, and one in Roseville on May 24, according to Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

"These brazen criminals are smashing into local businesses, and due to proactive police work, deputies discovered it as it occurred," Bouchard said in a statement. "The way these suspects fled shows a complete disregard for anyone’s safety. We are seeking the public’s help to identify and arrest those responsible."

According to police, the Rochester Hills robbery happened just before 2 a.m. Monday.

An Oakland County deputy on patrol on Rochester Road north of M-59 saw a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a closed Sunoco gas station. He saw the store's front door had been smashed.

As he got closer to the business, he saw a dark-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee with front end damage speed away from the station. He pursued the Jeep south on Rochester Road but could only see tail lights and soon terminated the pursuit.

Detectives who examined the gas station learned a sledgehammer was used to shatter the glass front door and three men were able to enter. All of the men were dressed in dark clothing and wearing blue or purple gloves, hoodies and masks.

The Jeep's driver wore a black PIKE hoodie, black Adidas pants and black Adidas shoes, and was carrying a sledgehammer, police said.

According to a preliminary investigation, police say the driver tried to open the gas station's cash drawer with the sledgehammer, but couldn't. He and his accomplices fled when one of them saw the deputy's patrol car. No items were taken, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident or the suspects should call Crime Stoppers of Michigan at 1 (800) SPEAK-UP. Tipsters are anonymous and a reward of up to $1,000 reward is available for information leading to an arrest.

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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