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Suspect charged in Rowland purse theft


A Nelson Township woman has been charged with the theft of another woman’s purse at a local business.

The theft occurred at Rowland Surplus Outlet, 130 W. Muskegon Street, on December 23. A regular customer was shopping there on December 23, and set her purse down. When she realized it was missing, employees in the store and many of their customers searched for it. They finally found it, stashed in the bathroom, with a large amount of cash missing from it.

“It (the money) had been taken out of the bank that morning to give to her kids for Christmas,” explained Rowland’s office manager Jane Wieda.

According to Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs Unit, Rowland’s staff checked surveillance footage during the time period and saw a female carrying the customer’s purse into the bathroom. The female was identified by witnesses as Kristina Marie Houck, 39.

She was interviewed by the investigating deputy, and, during the interview, the suspect admitted to taking the money and turned the money over to police. The deputy was able to return all of the missing money to the victim.

Houck was charged by the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office with a felony, larceny in a building. She was arrested by self-turn in on January 9, and is currently out on bond, pending court.

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