OAKLAND COUNTY, MI – Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating the break-in at a Rochester Hills gas station – one of at least three similar incidents which happened early Monday morning in Oakland and Macomb counties.
Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the Rochester Hills incident is likely connected to break-ins in Utica and Warren late Sunday or early Monday and one in Roseville on May 24. Sheriff’s detectives are working with police in those communities to find the responsible people.
“These brazen criminals are smashing into local businesses, and due to proactive police work, deputies discovered it as it occurred,” Bouchard said. “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.”
A deputy on routine patrol on Rochester Road north of M-59 saw a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a closed Sunoco gas station about 2 a.m. Monday. He noticed the front door had been smashed. He turned his patrol car around to get a closer look and saw a dark colored Jeep Grand Cherokee with front end damage speed away from the station. The deputy pursued the Jeep south on Rochester Road but could only see tail lights and soon terminated the pursuit.
Detectives checked the gas station and learned a sledgehammer was used to shatter the glass front door, allowing three men – all dressed in dark clothing and wearing blue/purple gloves, hoodies and masks – to enter the station. The driver of the Jeep was wearing a black PIKE hoodie, black Adidas pants, black Adidas shoes and was carrying the sledgehammer. The second suspect and the lookout were similarly dressed but in plain dark clothing.
The driver tried to use the sledgehammer to open the cash drawer but was unsuccessful and fled empty-handed when one of the suspects spotted the patrol car. No items were taken from the gas station.
Anyone with information about the incident should call Crime Stoppers 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.
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