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Arrests made in gun thefts



Imperial Gunworx, in the Village of Sparta, was broken into early Sunday morning and 19 handguns were stolen. Photo from Woodtv.com.

Four people have been arrested in connection with gun thefts last Sunday in both Sparta and Kentwood.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, they assisted the Sparta Police Department on Sunday, July 14, at 3:33 a.m. at a breaking and entering at Imperial Gunworx, at 134 E. Division in the Village of Sparta. Four suspects forced entry into the store using concrete slabs and bricks to shatter the glass in the front door, and then shattered the glass in the display case. They stole 19 handguns.

Another gun store, Armory Valentine, in Kentwood, was also broken into the early morning hours of July 14. Police said that the four suspects, who appear to be the same ones as in the Sparta case, stole additional firearms including semi-automatic rifles.

On July 15, the Wyoming Police Department responded to a suspicious situation involving three suspicious males entering a house under construction. The three suspicious individuals were located by police. During the Wyoming Police Officers investigation, a backpack that had been observed on one of the suspicious individuals was found nearby with nine stolen Imperial Gunworx handguns inside.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office and the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) began investigating this case. Investigators were able to identify four juvenile suspects. Search warrants were executed at two different addresses in Kent County and additional stolen handguns and rifles were recovered.

One adult suspect is in Federal custody and his name will be released pending arraignment. Three juveniles have been arrested and lodged at Kent County Juvenile Detention Facility.

This case remains under investigation. The suspects involved in the Sparta and Kentwood breaking and entering cases are not suspected to be involved in two other recent gun theft cases: Barracks 616 in Cascade Township was burglarized last week Wednesday, and Long Range Archery and Firearms in Holland was also burglarized Sunday morning, July 14. 

If you have any information about any of the Gun Store theft cases, please call the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616-632-6357, Silent Observer at 616-774-2345, or the ATF.

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