April 02, 2014 - By Meg Peters
Review Staff Writer
No solid leads have been discovered for what was termed the Milosch Palace Collision Center heist, where more than $75,000 in theft and damages occurred on Sunday, March 23.
Oakland County Sheriff's Department detectives began investigating after owners of the car dealership discovered a back lot where 13 vehicles were damaged and left on landscape cinder blocks.
The investigators expanded their search beyond the dealership that did not have video recorded of the night before, and found surveillance from a business close by showing the thieves' actions.
From the footage, investigators and detectives determined that thieves used an 18-foot U-Haul van and a Jeep. The U-Haul was large enough to carry 52 tires and wheels.
From the videos. detectives could see that the truck pulled in and is there for about two hours. Thieves jacked up the vehicles, removed the wheels, and then the Jeep pulled back into the lot and picked up two people.
Detectives are working in conjunction with the Auto Theft Regional Task Force.
The auto theft crew is working on regional aspects of the investigation. "They (the task force) followed up on some of our leads in Detroit on some tips of new wheels, very similar to ours, turning up in different locations," Lieutenant Dan Toth said.
The OC detectives are still processing any tips involving new wheels and tires especially from Chrysler products and ask community members to step forward with any suspicions.
"They learned that there was back road into the dealership lot, and actually went over a field to get access to the dealership. This was well organized," Lt. Toth said. "I'm sure they looked at this before they went in there at 11 p.m."
About $50,000 worth of tires and wheels were stolen. Another $15,000 in damages has been calculated to replace windows that were smashed out of all new Dodge Chargers, Rams, Challengers, some Jeeps and a 2015 Chrysler 200.
"A tire and a wheel is a least $1,000 a piece," Lt. Toth said.
To report any new information or tips, call the OC Sheriff's Office at 248-858-4911, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.
Detectives cannot say whether it is a local crime, or if the four people came from other cities.
"It's possible it could be some local knowledge, but then again, some of the other incidents like this are found to be individuals from outside of the area within Southeast Michigan or the Tri-County area," Toth said.
Detectives are unable to tell if the vehicles went north or south after the theft, but are talking to business owners along M-24 to seek additional surveillance of a light-colored four-door Jeep and a U-Haul truck.