Investigating: Marvin Winans Carjacking
UPDATE 5/17/12 @6:25PM CST
The pastor’s stolen SUV has been recovered, and the FBI is now also working the case.
Who beat and robbed prominent Detroit pastor Marvin Winansbefore stealing his luxury SUV? Two arrest warrants have already been issued and more are likely on the way. The pastor’s stolen SUV has been recovered, and the FBI is now also working the case.
Police say the car was found behind an abandoned house in Detroit. It was covered in a tarp, but still fully intact.
The attack happened Wednesday at a Citgo gas station on Linwood and the Davison. Pastor Winans says four men followed him to his car while he pumped gas and then beat him, punching and stomping him on the ground, stealing his wallet and his $40,000 Rolex before hopping into his burgundy 2012 Infiniti QX56 SUV. Police say there are only four such cars in the State of Michigan.
Police believe the thieves are still riding around town in the pastor’s car. They say they have received several calls that it has been sighted several times around the city.
Police also say at least three of the suspects were issued tickets for loitering at the same gas station hours before the carjacking. Sources say Pastor Winans identified them by pictures.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing expressed sympathy to his longtime friend and said Winans won’t get special treatment.
“I know him. We’ve been friends for a long time. Very, very unfortunate that this has happened, but I don’t want to overreact either because this happens to too many of our citizens and because he is who he is with the personality and the name recognition, we have to be careful not to overreact. We’ve got to make sure that any time this happens [to] any citizen, we need to respond.”
There is a $2,000 reward for information leading to arrests.
He said he was pumping gas at a Citgo station on Davison and Linwood when a young man approached and “engaged him in conversation about the music he had on the radio,” Detroit police Inspector Nick Kyriacou said.
When the young man suddenly told Winans that gas was spilling from his tank, the minister turned toward his SUV and the young man sucker-punched him from behind and pushed him down, after which “three or four men punched and kicked him on the pavement,” Kyriacou said.
“Somebody said, ‘Roll him over,’ and they got his wallet,” Kyriacou said.
As many as 10 young men, ages 18 to 20, were in the station when Winans paid for his gasoline, and the attackers apparently followed him to his car, Kyriacou said. Winans was able to describe only the one who spoke with him: 5 feet 4, in his late teens, wearing a white T-shirt and dark jeans, police said.
Winans’ newest recording — “Let the Church Say Amen” — was listed on Billboard.com this week as the nation’s top gospel recording. He is pastor of Perfecting Church, whose website says it has more than 3,000 members and a 4,500-seat sanctuary being built at Woodward and 7 Mile in Detroit. It has been incomplete for at least a year.
“I am shocked, but I’m not shocked that something like this happened at this location,” said the Rev. James Garrett, pastor of Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church in southwest Detroit. Garrett, 67, said he lives near the crime scene and drove there after his daughter told him of the crime.
Anyone with information can call the Detroit police 10th Precinct anytime at 313-596-1000.