Home / News / Royal Oak police: Catalytic converters stolen from 7 school buses; underaged man arrested after offering cocaine to bar doorman

Royal Oak police: Catalytic converters stolen from 7 school buses; underaged man arrested after offering cocaine to bar doorman

May 18, 2023May 18, 2023

Three people wearing hooded sweatshirts cut their way through a fence to steal catalytic converters from seven school buses at a company in Royal Oak.

Police said the thefts happened after 2 a.m. May 31 at the Servicar of Michigan company at 4354 Normandy Court.

The buses were in a locked yard surrounded by a fence with barbed wire along the top.

To get inside, the thieves cut the barbed wire and a portion of the fence, police said.

A Sawzall, a battery-powered reciprocating saw, was used to cut the converters from the buses. Police found some of the used Sawzall blades inside the fenced yard.

Surveillance video showed the three people arrived at the site in a newer model white Pontiac Grand Prix.

The company offers a variety of vehicles for rent. The buses that the thieves targeted are not used by Royal Oak Schools.

However, about a year ago someone sawed converters from buses inside the Royal Oak Schools bus yard.

Four days before the thefts at Servicar of Michigan someone stole a catalytic converter from a Royal Oak woman's 2003 Honda CRV that she had parked on the street in the 4300 block of Arden Place.

Surveillance at Holiday Market shows two men stole 10 bottles of liquor from the store early May 28.

The men took bottles of tequila, cognac and other liquor worth $586 and put the bottles in their coats about 9:15 a.m. They drove off in a red Jeep Cherokee.

About 10 hours later, one of the thieves returned to the store and took another 10 bottles of liquor, but was stopped by employees.

Police said the man fled the store empty-handed and drove away in a green Cadillac.

A Grosse Pointe Farms man, 20, was arrested early May 27 on charges of possessing a fake ID and a small amount of cocaine.

Police officers on foot patrol were alerted to the suspect by a doorman at O’Toole's bar, 205 W. Fifth Street, about 12:30 a.m.

The doorman pointed the suspect out and told police he refused the suspect entrance to the bar because he had a false ID.

"The suspect then offered the security man a small plastic bag with a white substance in it as a sort of apology for the fake ID," said Royal Oak police Sgt. Timothy Brown.

Police caught up with the man who consented to a search. Police said they found he was carrying a rolled up dollar bill with suspected cocaine residue on it, along with some ripped up small ends of plastic baggies and arrested him.

During booking at the police station, police said they found the man was holding a white cloth pouch with less than 25 grams of suspected cocaine in it.

The man is free on personal bond while police wait for lab results of the suspected cocaine.

Security workers at the Meijer store at 5150 Coolidge Highway called police after they saw a man taking electronics and other items and concealing them May 27.

The man, 59, of West Bloomfield, refused to stop when security workers tried to detain the man, but police arrived and arrested him as he left the store.

Police said the suspect stole pots, pans, electronics, batteries and liquor.

He is facing a charge of first-degree retail fraud, a five-year felony. The charge was enhanced because the suspect has prior convictions for retail fraud and larceny.

-Mike McConnell, Tribune staff writer

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