Mich. Tipster Turns up the ‘HEAT’ on Auto Thieves

April 28, 2005

By providing confidential information to HEAT’s (Help Eliminate Auto Thefts) anonymous tip line, 1-800-242-HEAT, a local HEAT tipster is now $7,300 richer and Romulus, Michigan police have busted a local auto theft ring and arrested three suspects.

The tipster was dropping his son off for work and called local police when he reportedly observed several youths exiting a 2005 Dodge Ram Pickup and running in the direction of a vehicle storage lot.

It turned out that the tipster had observed the “drop site” where several juveniles were preparing to steal new Dodge Rams. The suspects entered the lot by reportedly using bolt cutters to cut the rear fence.

Local police were dispatched immediately and while one vehicle was successfully stolen from the lot, the quick response from the police thwarted the theft of several other vehicles.

The description provided by the tipster of the vehicle seen at the “drop site” led to the arrest of one suspect who then provided additional information leading to the arrest of two others.

Subsequent arrests occurred after a vehicle pursuit that reportedly resulted in an accident with a police cruiser and a civilian’s vehicle. The suspects continued driving after the accident and the pursuit continued until the suspect’s vehicle ran out of gas. The suspects jumped from the moving vehicle and they were apprehended after a short foot race with officers.

“This is an excellent example of how one observant citizen helped prevent a crime and future crimes from happening,” said Terri Miller, executive director of HEAT. “It shows that confidentially reporting what you know to HEAT or the police can result in real cash in your pocket.”

HEAT has paid 45 tips in the $5-8,000 range and 13 $10,000 rewards since the program’s inception in 1985.

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