Suspects arrested for series of local break-ins, robberies

Published 7:24 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

BERRIEN COUNTY — Two suspects were arrested Wednesday in connection to a slew of recent break-ins and robberies, according to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s Department officers responded to an active business alarm at the Oak Dairy Party Store, 1129 Stateline Rd., 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 broken 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 from GPM and as they arrived, they found a black sedan vehicle with two subjects entering the car leaving the scene. Deputies pursued the vehicle westbound on US Hwy. 12 towards New Buffalo. After a 15-minute chase, Pokagon Tribal Officers were successfully able to deploy stop sticks and deflating both drivers’ side tires.

The vehicle eventually came to a stop and a foot pursuit ensued and deputies were able to apprehend both subjects. 

The driver was identified as 26-year-old Maleik Johnson out of Chicago, IL and Lashan Wyatt, 24, out of Hammond, Ind. Detectives were able to confirm that the two subjects committed four of the five break-ins. Johnson and Wyatt have been lodged in the Berrien County Jail on multiple felony charges including fleeing and eluding, three counts breaking and entering, possession of stolen vehicle, resisting and obstructing police, possession of concealed weapon and felony firearms and are awaiting arraignment. 

The investigation is ongoing as the police believe that both subjects are part of a large crime ring that has been committing similar break-ins and thefts in more than 150 incidents in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and lower Wisconsin.