Two Michigan men were charged in connection with the theft of four Dodge and Ram Trucks from a Highland Township, Michigan dealership, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) last week. Cameron Powell, 22, and Ronnie Smith, 19, were arraigned in District Court on charges of receiving and concealing stolen property on Friday.
The OCSO says that four vehicles were taken from Szott Dodge on Wednesday. Four vehicles had been stolen – a black 2017 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, a black 2021 Dodge Durango GT, a white 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, and a black 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, officials said. The vehicles were valued at $329,000.
OSCO stated that thieves stole key fobs from the dealership’s office during the robbery, before driving at least two of four vehicles through the showroom glass window. Investigators are saying that the theft is related to several “smash and grab” break-ins at gas stations around the Waterford and White Lake Township area.
OCSO detectives were able to track the stolen white Durango SRT Hellcat to the City of Birmingham, Michigan northwest of Detroit. When authorities went to stop the vehicle, the driver of the limited-edition high-performance Durango, then crashed into a brick wall while attempting to flee police.
“Powell and Smith are not believed to have originally stolen the vehicle but paid the thieves $5,000 cash for the vehicle, which was valued at about $100,000,” the OCSO officials said.
Inside the vehicle, police confiscated $5,800 in the form of $100 bills and $20 bills, a loaded semi-automatic handgun, and a device used to reprogram vehicle key fobs.
Dodge recently announced that they were taking steps to help reduce the likeliness of its vehicles being stolen with a trio of new software updates. It is believed that the thieves in multiple states have been using key fob programmers, to steal hundreds of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, and Ram vehicles.
Powell and Smith, both from Detroit, have criminal records and remain in the Oakland County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Their next hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, October 12th.
A third passenger was arrested, but prosecutors declined to charge the person pending a further investigation, the OCSO stated. A fourth suspect, the 15-year old brother of one of the two that were arraigned was arrested later in Detroit and is being held at the Oakland County Children’s Village facility.
The three other missing vehicles taken from the Szott Dodge dealership were recovered with the help of local police and auto theft investigators.
The OCSO is asking anyone with information about the thefts are asking to call Crime Stoppers of Michigan, which has offered a $1,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest, at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Source: WDIV Detroit & Oakland County Sheriff’s Office