A Detroit man faces jail time on federal charges after he was charged with hijacking two drivers earlier this month over a three-day period. According to a federal indictment, he wore the same clothes in each crime.
Jamiel Carothers was charged by the federal government for two carjackings on October 9 and 11 in Detroit.
According to the federal complaint, the first carjacking took place at Detroit Wine and Liquor on West 7 Mile Road. The victim was leaving the store and getting into his Chrysler 300 when a man in a black jacket and black hat pointed a semi-automatic pistol at him and asked for his keys.
The victim obeyed and the suspect got in and drove off before stopping, pointing the gun at him again and forcing him into the car.
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The victim said he was then told to empty his pockets and the man repeatedly threatened to kill him. At a stop sign, the victim was able to escape from the car but was shot at some point. He was not hit by a bullet.
Video from the liquor store confirmed the man’s story and showed a man later identified as Cothers inside, wearing a dark hat with ‘JSC USA’ on the front, black shoes with a stripe orange or red on the heel and a black jacket with white writing “NASA” on the front, “MISSION SPACE” on the left sleeve and a large image of a spaceship on the back.
Two days later, at a gas station on 7 Mile and Southfield Freeway, a woman was pumping gas when a man approached and offered to pump for her. She refused and the man said “give me that F—— car b—-, or I’ll shoot you.”
Then he pulled out a gun and pointed it at her. She tried to push him away but ended up running away but the man fired between two and four shots at her.
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She described the man as wearing a black and orange hat, black hoodie and black and orange shoes. Police reviewed surveillance video and said the jacket appeared to be the same as the liquor store suspect was wearing.
“Specifically, the photo on the back of the jacket is the same as the photo on the back of the jacket during the October 9 incident,” the indictment states.
Photos of the Oct. 9 carjacking suspect were sent to the Detroit Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center, where they were subjected to facial recognition analysis. This is how Carothers was identified as a potential suspect.
On Thursday, October 13, the first victim saw a photo series that included six photos, including Carothers, all with a similar build, hairstyle and skin tone. The victim identified Carothers as the suspect who hijacked and kidnapped him.
The next day, authorities staked out his home on Washburn Street, just off 7 Mile, and drove to a gas station on 7 Mile where he was on video wearing the same hat with “JSC USA” on it.
Detroit police pulled him over at the gas station.
Later that day a search warrant was made at his Washburn Street home. During the search, a relative said Carothers lived in the basement. This is where the police found a pair of shoes with orange stripes on the heels. His facial hair also matched that of the suspect.
Carothers now faces federal charges because the two vehicles were manufactured in Mexico and Canada, under US law regarding vehicles that are “carried in interstate commerce.”
Carothers was previously convicted in 2012 of a gun crime. He is now charged with two counts of carjacking and firearms in both crimes.
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