Through a joint effort of West Bloomfield Police, Oakland County Sheriff’s Department aerial support, and a Troy Special Investigative Unit, a suspected car thief was captured.
Between Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, West Bloomfield police received several complaints about ignitions being tampered with and damaged locks on minivans in the area.
The first occurred on the 4100 block of Alston Boulevard. The owner of the 2004 Chrysler Town & Country was unable to start her vehicle on her way to work. After calling a tow truck, it was discovered the ignition had been tampered with and damaged.
Another van, this time a 2000 Chrysler Voyager, was also damaged on April 1 on the 6900 block of Abbott Terrace. The owner of that vehicle noticed the driver door was slightly ajar when he woke up. When he went to investigate, he noticed both passenger and driver side door locks had been damaged, while the ignition was punched out and lying on the floor.
Two suspects were believed to responsible for both attempted vehicle thefts.
These suspects are also believed to be the same two who stole a silver 2002 Town & Country minivan from the 3800 block of Ranger.
While keeping one of the suspects under surveillance, Troy police officers noticed the suspect entering into the Shores of Baypoint subdivision with another passenger in a Dodge Intrepid.
Shortly, thereafter the Intrepid — minus the passenger — left the subdivision followed by a silver minivan.
Troy law enforcement followed and attempted to block in the two vehicles at the intersection of Baywater and Harold streets. The Intrepid and minivan then proceeded to ram their vehicles into police vehicles to escape.
While the Intrepid and its driver were able to, the minivan was found at the intersection of Union Lake Road and Gitzen in Commerce Township after crashing in a wooded area.
From there, the driver took off on foot and after a lengthy foot chase was apprehended by West Bloomfield police at the corner of North Shore and Willow, where the suspect had been hiding under a pontoon.
The alleged thief of the minivan, 21-year-old Travis Dantzler from Detroit, was arrested and taken to Oakland County Jail.
He was arraigned on Saturday, April 2 for auto theft, felonious assault using a motor vehicle as a weapon, and malicious destruction of police property, and cash bond was set at $10,000.
The other suspect, Keith Howard, a 26-year-old male from Detroit, remained at large until Monday, April 4 when he was arrested by the Troy Police Department when he showed up for a meeting with his probation officer in Wayne County. His arraignment was set for yesterday, Tuesday, April 5.