Arrest Made by AHPD Officers in Stolen Phone Ransom Case

I happened to run into Sgt. Brandon Hollenbeck a little while ago and he was pretty pleased about an arrest they had just made a few minutes ago.  Here is his story:

A victim came into the lobby at around 3:30 to report that his Iphone 6 had been stolen from a locker at one of the local workout places the previous night.   The victim reported that he began receiving suspicious phone calls on his work cell phone today.  The caller could not provide a reasonable explanation for how he got the victim’s work cell phone number.  The victim told the caller that his cell phone had been stolen and he believed the caller to be involved.  The caller told the victim that he did have his cell phone and that it must have been stolen by an acquaintance of his.  The caller told the victim he would return his cell phone, however, he believed he should receive an award.  The caller told the victim he wanted $120 to give him his phone back.  The victim told the caller he would meet him at the workout place with $120.

The victim then came to AHPD for assistance.  Timing worked out to our advantage as we were just clearing briefing and were able to make a plan.  Officers were sent to the area of the workout place to cover the entrances out of sight as we obtained more information from the victim.  While talking with the victim the suspect called him and the victim was able to gather more information from the suspect as we coached the victim on what to ask.  We obtained suspect information and description and a specific meeting location.  The information was broadcasted out to units in the area and almost immediately an officer indicated he had located the suspect walking on the sidewalk toward the meet location.  The suspect was in possession of the stolen cell phone.  It was determined that the suspect had participated in the theft of the phone and called the victim from a friend’s phone to set up this meeting to sell the stolen phone back to the victim.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident.  The suspect was a 16 year old.  The investigation is ongoing as we are awaiting the arrival of the suspect’s mother.

Quick thinking and good teamwork by the afternoon shift resulted in a positive outcome for our victim.  Hopefully this experience will send a clear message to the young suspect in hopes that he will make better choices in the future.

I hope he makes better choices in the future too.

Posted by

I'm the Chief of Police for the Auburn Hills Police Department.