Thieves steal $6k worth of fireworks on July 3, wanted by police
BROWNSTOWN TWP, Mich. (FOX 2) - Police are still looking for a group of thieves that fled with thousands of dollars worth of fireworks on the day before Independence Day.
On July 3 at 3 a.m., a witness driving by the Fireworks Kingdom in Brownstown Twp noticed something unusual happening.
"Somebody driving by saw some people breaking into the building with a sledgehammer," said store owner Nate Johnston.
911 was called by the witnesses. At this point, police say the thieves still had a chance to back out.
"They jokingly yell out the window, ‘hey i think they are closed' well it was 6 to 8 people pulling things out of the store at 3 a.m.," said Brownstown Police Lt. Andrew Starzec.
Instead of leaving, they doubled down their efforts and used their trucks to pull the doors off the hinges.
"They were in there about 3 to 4 minutes and stole about $6,000 worth of fireworks," said Johnston.
"They knew exactly what they were going for. They knew what was in the building. They were in there before," said Lt. Starzec.
Both trucks were loaded up with high-end fireworks.
"One was valued at $1500. That’s a lot of money to literally light on fire," said Lt. Starzec.
"Desperate people do desperate things. I hope that was just what this was… a quick hit and try to get some money... fireworks to sell," said Johnston.
Police arrived at the store within minutes and saw the thieves leave in two trucks.
"We had 3 vehicles right there, perfect timing for us. We saw both vehicles and started to pursue them on I-75.," said Lt. Starzec.
Police chased them driving north on I-75 towards Detroit.
"They split up, but we had enough patrol cars to follow them and chased them around some of the neighborhoods," said Lt. Starzec.
That's when police decided it was too dangerous to continue the chase.
"It got to the point where the speeds were too fast. Even though it was 3 a.m. it was a holiday and a lot of people were out. For the safety of the public, we terminated the pursuit," said Lt. Starzec.
Unfortunately, the information that police do have on the trucks isn't of much help.
"I think one vehicle had duct tape on the plate and the other was a stolen vehicle," said Lt. Starzec.
Anyone with information, who might know the group, or sees a posting on social media about stolen fireworks should contact the police.
"Maybe someone out there in the community will say something and they will get caught in the end," said Johnston.
In addition to the thousands of dollars worth of stolen fireworks, the damage done to the building is estimated to be nearly $10,000 to repair. Despite that, the Fireworks Kingdom will remain open.
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