muckraker report

New Midtown grocer burglarized four times in first two months of business

The crime was almost too easy.

Smash one of the large storefront windows or door. Once the burglar alarm is triggered, you have an average of 20 minutes to grab merchandise and flee before the overstretched police department can arrive.

That was the case at the Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, a gourmet grocer on Woodward in Midtown, police said. Since opening two months ago, thieves have busted in and helped themselves to merchandise on four different nights.

Then Wayne State University Police stepped in – and what a difference it made.

The fifth burglar was cornered by university police within a minute of smashing through the grocer’s window, said Lt. Dave Scott, a Wayne State police officer.

All it took – switching the burglar alarm’s contact to Wayne State University Police from Detroit Police.

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe has the unique advantage of operating in Midtown, which is heavily patrolled by Wayne State University Police.

It’s one big reason Midtown is growing and the rest of the city is not.

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Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Living on the city’s east side, Neavling explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.    

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.

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  • Jared Saverino

    This is what happens when food deserts are allowed to stagnate for decades while the surounds turn blind eyes.

  • Mike

    I lived in Midtown for 30 years and one thing was consistent and that was Wayne State Police patrol who patrol better than Detroit.

  • Jeff Antays

    Wayne State Police are the best. They gave me comfort to move into Midtown to live. They are on my speed dial. Tony the Chief is a great leader.

  • Larry Lyle

    Do they expect immediate response time after giving the cops a pay-cut/shift extension? Most of them don’t live in the city,due to relaxed regulations,anyway!

  • OptimAge

    Rock on, WSU PD!

  • Jerry Mangona

    According to The South End, it is unlikely that there were 5 different burglars. Upon searching the home of the apprehended burglar, a search warrant was issued and police found evidence showing that the suspect had likely broken into the building before.

    In fact, it’s even possible that the burglar who was caught committed all of the first four crimes. Cheers to WSU PD on arriving within 20 seconds of the call. And, yes, I advocate that neighborhoods be allowed to contract for municipal services with special assessments.

  • Tom Barrow


  • Anonymous

    I think it’s about time that neighborhoods are allowed to use special assessment districts to contract for municipal police services – not merely security guards. Let’s pay WSU police a fair amount to cover a larger area, and let the Detroit police department spend its limited resources in parts of town that are less willing or less able to pay more for safety.