STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) - Two men were arrested after stealing landscaping equipment in Sterling Heights and eluding police on I-696.
Bennie Lee Beard, 56, of Madison Heights, is facing multiple charges, including felony larceny, fleeing police in the third degree, lying to a peace officer and operating on a suspended/revoked license. Caruth Gordon Davis, 52, of Detroit, is facing a five-year felony larceny charge. They’re due back in court for a preliminary exam on Oct. 12.
Police say the incident started when a landscaper working in the area of 16 Mile and Schoenherr watched Beard and Davis remove two gas leaf blowers from the back of his landscaping truck and load them into the bed of their pickup truck.
The landscaper chased after the suspects and caught up with them at the corner of Camelot and Schoenherr, at which time their vehicle swerved at him, police said.
The landscaper moved out-of-the-way and as the suspects fled westbound on 16 Mile Road, he called 911 and provided a description of the men and their truck.
Officers located the vehicle on westbound Metro Parkway and when they attempted to stop the men, they fled. Police say they pursued the vehicle south on Dequindre into Madison Heights, where the suspects were observed entering westbound I-696.
The suspects’ vehicle was later found abandoned on the shoulder of I-696, with footprints leading from the vehicle up the embankment. Witnesses reported to officers that they observed two black males running through the neighborhood. Beard and Davis were located a short distance away.
A K-9 unit tracked from the suspect vehicle to the location where the suspects were being detained, at which time Beard and Davis were arrested. Following a search, police found drug paraphernalia located on one of them.
Both Beard and Davis are currently on parole for other theft related crimes.