Operation Sweet Tooth
On June 14, 2015 one of our insured’s new trailers along with a load of sugar was stolen in the Detroit Michigan area. The combined value of the trailer and cargo was over $75,000. Several days later someone entered a local bakery and tried to sell them some of the stolen product for a ridiculously low price. The young lady working there, who is the daughter of the owner, is a crime show fan. Instead of telling this person to go away, she told him her father was away on vacation and asked if he could come back in a few days. Our suspect, using all of his intellect just said “That’s OK, here is my cell number. Call me when he gets back.”
This quick thinking young lady contacted the manufacturer of the sugar and was advised of a recent theft. she was given my name and contact number as Investigative Resource Center, Inc. was assigned the investigation by the insurance company. Operation Sweet Tooth was born.
With the assistance of Len Paquette of Bleu Wing Investigations we were able to put together a coalition of Local Law Enforcement and the Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force. The sting was set.
The suspect was contacted and he agreed to a buy on June 25, 2015. Marked money was prepared, surveillance locations established and when the suspect arrived he was glad to carry in the 50 pound bags of sugar once he was paid with the marked money. Our agents were able to verify the lot numbers from the bags of sugar and they were a direct match to our stolen load.
The suspect was arrested on scene and began his quest to cooperate with the task force. He gave up two additional suspects who were arrested and who also began to talk. The location of our stolen unit and the balance of the cargo was obtained and it was determined there were multiple stolen tractors and trailers at the location. As such, a search warrant was issued and in addition to our equipment, more than 8 additional semi-tractors and trailers were recovered. The estimated value of the recovered units and cargo may exceed $1,000,000. As the investigation continues we believe additional suspects will be charged with various other crimes.
We appreciate the assistance of the Hamtramck Police and the members of the Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force.