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Armed robbery suspect arrested

Antoon Defrens

A man suspected of committing four armed robberies in three counties during the month of December was arrested last week by police.

According to F/Lt. Kevin Sweeney, the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post has been investigating a series of armed robberies in Montcalm and Ionia Counties over the last few weeks. Investigations by detectives led to the arrest of the suspect in the early morning hours of December 22, after a short vehicle pursuit.

Antoon Defrens, 41, of Sheridan, was arrested and lodged in the Montcalm County jail. He is suspected of robbng the Belding Party Store in Ionia County on Saturday, December 9; the Sheridan Marathon Gas Station in Montcalm County on December 12; the Gowen General Store in Montcalm County on December 16; and the Rockford Marathon Gas Station in Kent County on Thursday, December 21.

Defrens is charged with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of fleeing and eluding for the robberies in Montcalm County. Charges in the third and fourth robberies, in Ionia and Kent Counties, are still pending.

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