Five Detroit men who rammed a U-Haul truck into a Toledo fur store pleaded no contest to vandalism Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Deshawn Diggs, 24; Alfred Johnson, 35; Adrian Hill, 26; Antwain McKenzie, 23, and Quinton Benson, 36, were then found guilty of the fifth-degree felony. Judge Michael Goulding sentenced each of the men to an agreed-upon term of nine months in prison and ordered them to pay $2,952 in restitution for damage to the building.
J. Christopher Anderson, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said police in metropolitan Detroit had been investigating similar crimes at fur and leather stores there and had set up surveillance at a residence in Detroit. On Dec. 17, officers followed a Mercedes, a stolen van, and a rented U-Haul truck to Toledo where they saw the U-Haul smash into Toledo Fur Services, 2123 W. Central Ave., about 6:30 a.m.
Mr. Anderson said their attempt to crash through the door failed, although the U-Haul became damaged. The five co-defendants then fled in the van, which Toledo police stopped on northbound I-75 just north of Alexis Road.
Benson was the only one of the five who addressed the court before sentencing.
“I’d like to apologize to the court and the city of Toledo and the state of Ohio for my part in this event,” he said. “I think something good will come out of this, and we all will do better.”
As part of the plea agreement, the judge dismissed a charge of receiving stolen property that had been filed against each of the men.