State police bust carjacking ring targeting Detroit casino customers

- A major break in a carjacking ring that targeted people leaving local casinos.

Michigan State Police show video of an armed man walking up to the car he just rear-ended - and threw the weapon away - as police arrived and arrested him.

Investigators say he and another man are allegedly part of an ongoing carjacking and armed robbery ring targeting people leaving Detroit's casinos.

"After they made contact with the individual and act like they were going to exchange information with him, they would rob him at gunpoint," said Lt. Michael Shaw, Michigan State Police. "Take whatever they had on them and then take their car."

Police say a spotter car - a red Dodge Charger was used to identify the victims. State police helicopter video of the driver shows the man being pulled over and placed under arrest.

The suspects are reportedly 26-year-old Damon Washington and 31-year-old Kenneth Gardner - both ex-cons out on parole. Now they are facing federal charges for carjacking.

State police say the armed robberies started Sept. 22 and continued until the suspects were arrested early Monday morning. MSP say eight stolen vehicles were involved in all and that they recovered one stolen handgun and a rifle.

Now they're reminding people to be aware of their surroundings inside the casino and on the way home.

"There is bad people inside of casinos who are looking to do bad things to people who won money in there," Shaw said. "Take the check first of all - don't take cash out of the casino."

As for these arrests, state police say it's a job well done.

"This is a crime that was taking place in different areas," Shaw said. "We were able to tie it all together and stop these two people because eventually they were going to hurt somebody."

Michigan State Police say there are at least six cases so far - also say there may be more suspects.

Anyone who was a victim is encouraged to contact them at (248) 584-5740.
 

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