Thieves target cars in SW Detroit despite Project Green Light; police say program works

Mexican Village Restaurant is one of the Project Green Light businesses monitored by Detroit police.

- A rash of car break-ins around southwest Detroit, but some were caught on camera as part of Detroit police's Project Green Light program.

These guys are bold, they clearly don't care it's the middle of the day and they clearly don't care - this targeted parking lot at Mexican Village restaurant on Bagley, is monitored by Detroit police.

"They keep breaking in even though we have a guard and cameras and everything," said Christian Rubio, of Mexican Village. "In the middle of the day - plain sunlight."

Such was the scene Sunday afternoon in the parking lots at the popular restaurant - parking lots clearly marked as part of Project Green Light - lots under video surveillance by Detroit police.

"It was three vehicles in the lot that I was parked in, and one across the street," said Akycia McGill reached by phone. The rear window of her SUV was broken out while she was at lunch with her sister Sunday.

Another family fresh from the airport had a car full of luggage cleared out - everything gone.

"It's not the first time, about a week ago two cars got broken into in a span of about one hour and that was in the parking lot across the street over there," Rubio said.

And not just there, break-ins in other parts of southwest Detroit and in the Seventh Precinct as well.

Police believe all of them are related but victims say it took hours for police to respond and they're wondering if Project Green Light is working.

"You would think that since you're in a parking area and you see the Green Light and think it's a safe place to park and that it's a safe place to park. But I don't know -maybe not so much."

Police say these are property crimes and crimes involving life or death take priority - but they say the Green Light surveillance is working and because of it - they expect to make some arrests very soon.

"The technology that's being used is very high quality," said Sgt. Michael Woody. "So we're able to identify even from across the street the particular vehicle that we're looking for. And we're able to get the information out to the patrol units to identify the vehicle. So it is doing what it's supposed to do."

Business owners here sure hope so - they want their customers to keep coming - and keep feeling safe.

"Hopefully whoever is doing this will be caught because they're affecting the businesses," said Severo Gonzalez, owner of Mexican Village.


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