By Judy Reed
It started out like any other Wednesday morning for a rural Sand Lake family. Mom and Dad got ready for work, kids got ready for school, and Mom dropped them at the bus stop. They were all out of the house by 6:15 a.m. But when Mom returned to their house in the 5000 block of Grosvenor about 1:30 p.m. to let the dog out, things were anything but normal.
“She saw the windows were broken and stuff sitting outside the garage,” said Yvonne Taylor, the victim’s mother.
According to both Taylor and the police, thieves broke in and not only stole numerous items but vandalized the home as well. They reportedly took an axe to all the bedroom doors and the drywall, smashed a big screen television, tipped over the pool table, smashed pool sticks, wine bottles, and various other items. “They damaged property in every room in the house,” said Lt. Kevin Kelley of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
They stole at least 50 items from the home, including Gameboys, a Playstation, Nintendo, DVDs, jewelry, two quads (youth-size ATVs), and at least $4,000 worth of tools. They reportedly gained entry by forcing the door.
Police did receive a description of the suspects from a neighbor who saw a truck but didn’t think much about it at the time. According to the neighbor, it was a dark-colored blue or black pickup without a cap, and was not new. They saw one of the stolen yellow four-wheelers in the bed of the pickup. The suspects are two males, with the driver being described as tall and quite thin, and his accomplice being a little smaller.
Police said no other homes in the vicinity have had a break-in or had their home vandalized like this. But according to Lt. Kelley, everyone should be alert and take precautions. “Daytime home invasions are the most common type,” he said. “Thieves disguise themselves to blend in and try to appear normal. Although they are sometimes observed, they do not appear unusual because it’s during the day. Most people think of it happening at night. But they happen during the day, when people aren’t there,” he explained.
Anyone with information regarding the break-in should call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100, or Silent Observer at (616-774-2345) or toll free at 1-866-774-2345. You can also text a tip to CRIMES (274637) and start your message with TIP138.