Police chase after marijuana store burglarized ends in crash

A burglary at a local dispensary lead to a police chase and ended in a crash and five arrests.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 8:13 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 12:02 PM EDT
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BAY CO., Mich. (WNEM) - Five suspects were arrested Wednesday morning after they broke into a marijuana store, fled the scene, and then crashed into a police cruiser, Bay County Sheriff Troy Cunningham said.

The suspects are accused of breaking into Smoke Society on Wilder Road in Bangor Township shortly before 5 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15.

“We had a truck pull into the back. Five individuals jumped out, tried to break in, and actually got in. They moved pretty quick and actually got away with a whole bunch of stuff,” said Ross Hayes, the manager of the store.

The owner contacted police after receiving an alert that the store’s alarm went off. From the store’s camera footage, he was able to provide a description of that vehicle.

According to Cunningham, a “be on the lookout” alert was sent out. Shortly after, police spotted the suspect vehicle driving southbound on I-75 near M-81.

The preliminary investigation indicates the suspect driver exited I-75 at Dixie Highway and swerved into the path of oncoming vehicles, Michigan State Police said, adding the suspect intentionally crashed into an oncoming vehicle and drove off again.

The suspects were spotted throwing evidence out the window of their vehicle during the chase, Cunningham said.

MSP troopers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle using a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT) maneuver, which resulted in the MSP cruiser and the suspect vehicle crashing into a ditch, MSP said. That happened near Dixie Highway and Herzog Road in Bridgeport Township.

No one was injured in the crash, according to police.

The five suspects fled the vehicle on foot, MSP said.

Four of the suspects were immediately apprehended and the fifth suspect was caught shortly after during a canine search, MSP said. The fifth suspect was hiding in a nearby residence.

Hayes said he is happy with the response from the police.

“Luckily enough the cops were able to catch the truck and catch all the people that took everything, so we got everything back,” Hayes said. “Now they’re just kind of working to see all the other places that might have gotten into.”

All of the suspects are men from Battle Creek and Lansing between the ages of 18 and 21. They have all been lodged in the Saginaw County Jail.

The suspect vehicle was reported stolen from a business in the Lansing area early Wednesday morning, MSP said.

Cunningham said they are seeing a trend, with more dispensaries getting hit. It is unclear if they are related.

“There’s always break-in in every city, it doesn’t matter what kind of business it is. But they do suspect that they have broken into other businesses so we’re just waiting to hear just like everyone else,” Hayes said.

All five men were taken to the Saginaw County jail.

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