Canton Police Car

(Photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

Organized Crime Charges Filed In Case Involving Stolen Goods From Canton Big Box Stores

July 20, 2018 - 1:14 pm

WYANDOTTE (WWJ) - A five-month investigation involving Canton Township big box stores and a Wyandotte pawn shop has wrapped up with 22 charges brought against one man.

Canton police and Michigan State Police on Wednesday raided Tony's Pawn Shop, located in the 1300 block of Fort Street.

Wayne County prosecutors say between March 8 and July 10 of this year, it is alleged that 25-year old Anthony Paul Wojtala, Jr. of Wyandotte led a "continuing criminal enterprise"

Anthony Wojtola
involving the purchase of high value and high demand goods stolen from Home Depot, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Kroger and Meijer stores in Canton Township.

Prosecutors said Wojtala sold some of the stolen merchandise through the pawn shop, which he owned. Other items, it's alleged, he sold from his Wyandotte home.

According to Canton Police Sgt. Dan Traylor, Wojtala (booking photo at left) made a practice of buying stolen items from "boosters." 

"It's a common thing for drug users to do, is to steal items from big box stores and then introduce them into commerce for cash in order  to support their habit," Traylor said. "So basically these businesses are supporting and contributing to the heroine epidemic."

Wojtala was arrested and charged with the following: One count of conducting a criminal enterprise, two counts use of a computer to commit a crime; eight counts of organized retail crime; six counts of counts of second hand dealer - failure to display/record transactions; five counts counts of receiving and concealing stolen property and habitual offender, 4th offense.

“This is yet another case that illustrates how businesses in Wayne County are continuously fleeced," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, in a statement. "The alleged behavior of this defendant affects every consumer in our region.”

Michigan Department of Corrections records show Wojtala's criminal history includes convictions for assault with intent to do great bodily harm, domestic violence, and resisting/obstructing police. 

Arraigned on the charges Friday, Wojtala was ordered held on a $25,000 bond on the condition that, if released, he wears a GPS tether. 

He faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted.