Two Cedar Springs residents who weren’t afraid to get involved helped lead to the arrest of four robbery suspects last Thursday evening.
According to Detective Sergeant Scott Rios, of the Michigan State Police Newaygo Post, MSP responded to a call of a robbery with a knife at Gillette’s Trading Post, on Mason Drive/M-37, in Ashland Township, near Grant about 9:15 p.m. May 13. The suspects then allegedly drove to Cedar Springs, and held up the Admiral gas station at the corner of Main and Muskegon Streets.
According to Cedar Springs Police Roger Parent, Officer Chad Tucker responded to an armed robbery at Admiral at about 9:59 p.m. A man reportedly walked in and pulled a knife on the female clerk and told her, “I don’t want to hurt you. Just give me all your money.” The suspect then fled on foot.
Ellissa Phillips, 25, was just going to walk into the store when the suspect came barreling out. “He almost knocked me over,” she said.
Phillips said that she and her aunt had come up First Street on their way to Admiral, and noticed a truck parked in front of the Young home (behind Admiral) with its lights on. “I thought that was weird,” she said. When she got to the gas station, Phillips said she spoke to someone outside she knew, then reached down to stub out her cigarette outside the door. It was then that the suspect came running out. “I had to move really quick,” she said.
When Phillips walked into the store, the clerk screamed, “He just robbed me!” Phillips quickly ran outside and told her friend, and he took his vehicle and followed the suspect, who ran to the truck on First Street. Phillips’ friend got a license plate number then returned to the gas station to give it to the police.
The Kent County Sheriff Department sent out a broadcast alerting law enforcement that an armed robbery with similar suspect information had taken place earlier in Newaygo County. Then, at 10:10 p.m., the KCSD saw a vehicle matching the description at North County Store on Old 14 Mile at Lincoln Lake. It is unknown whether they were planning to rob that store, but officers were able to connect the group with the other two robberies, and they were all taken into custody. They were questioned at the Rockford State Police Post, then transported and lodged in the Newaygo County Jail.
The suspects were arraigned in the 78th District Court in Newaygo County on charges of armed robbery for the Gillette Trading Post robbery. Charged was Zachariah Raymor, 20, of Lowell; Seth Dillon, 20, of Coral; Casey Jo OConnor, 20, of Belding; and Christopher Ridgeway, of Sand Lake.
The investigation is ongoing, and suspects have not yet been charged in the Admiral robbery. “Cedar Springs continues to work on establishing appropriate charges for those involved in the Cedar Springs robbery,” said Chief Parent.