NEW BUFFALO — The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office issued the following report on a June 1 car and foot chase that ended in New Buffalo and resulted in two arrests:
On June 1st, 2022 Deputies of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office responded to an active business alarm at the Oak Dairy convenience store located on Stateline Road in Niles. Deputies were able to determine that the front door window had been broken out and liquor, cigarettes and money taken from within.
While working this incident, Deputies learned that the City of Buchanan had reports of three other gas station/convenience stores being broke into. Berrien County Public Safety Dispatch received another call of a breaking and entering alarm at the Galien Pro Mart.
Patrol Deputies were not far away and as they arrived found a black sedan vehicle with two subjects entering the car leaving the scene. Deputies pursued the vehicle westbound on U.S. Hwy. 12 towards New Buffalo. After a 15 minute chase, Pokagon Tribal Officers were successfully able to deploy stop sticks and deflate both drivers’ side tires.
The vehicle eventually came to a stop and a foot pursuit ensued. Deputies were able to apprehend both subjects. The driver was identified as 26-year-old Maleik Johnson out of Chicago, Ill. Also arrested was Lashan Wyatt, 24, out of Hammond, Ind.
Detectives were able to confirm that the two subjects committed 4four of the five break-ins. The investigation is continuing, it appears that both subjects are part of a large crime ring that has been committing similar break-ins and thefts in over 150 incidents in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and lower Wisconsin.
Johnson and Wyatt have been lodged in the Berrien County Jail on multiple felony charges including fleeing and eluding, 3 counts breaking and entering, possession of stolen vehicle, resisting and obstructing police, possession of concealed weapon and felony firearms and are awaiting arraignment.
These charge are merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.