Taylor Police have charged a 20-year-old Detroit  man in the jewelry theft at a store inside Southland Mall. 

On July 14, officers responded to Motif Jewelers inside Southland Mall on information that two suspects had smashed out the glass display and fled with several diamond rings worth almost $40,000. Apparently, one of the suspects had distracted the employee while the other used a hammer to smash out the glass jewelry display case. 

Mall security spotted two suspects get into a Jeep Liberty in the parking and was able to obtain a plate number. The information was put out, but the suspects were not apprehended at that time. Information was later received that the Jeep Liberty had been stolen earlier from the parking lot at PetsMart on Eureka across the street from the Mall. 

Later, an off-duty Taylor police officer, Michael Milka, was in the area of I-75 in South Rockwood and saw a Jeep Liberty matching in the description in a ditch on the freeway. Cpl. Milka called Rockwood police and advised the vehicle matched the description of a larceny that occurred in Taylor earlier. Officers responded to the Jeep Liberty, which was still running and saw that the ignition had been punched. The Jeep was unoccupied.

While Rockwood Ofc. Christopher Suggs was waiting for a tow truck for the Jeep, he observed a minivan driving slowly nearby that appeared to be watching him at the scene. Officers stopped the minivan and noted the occupants matched the description of the suspects from Southland Mall. Both were detained and turned over to Taylor Police. 

A search of one of the suspects clothing resulted in a $15,000 ring with the tag still attached and matched the jewelry stores inventory. 

Torez Monte Leonard, 20, of Detroit has been charged by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office with Larceny over $20,000 , Retail Fraud First-Degree; and Malicious Destruction of Property (misdemeanor). The second suspect that was with him was not charged in the theft. 

Leonard was arraigned today before 23rd District Court Judge Geno Salomone. He was remanded to the Wayne County Jail on a $20,000 cash bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary examination on July 21 in 23rd District Court.