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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Beware of requests for wire transactions


 

A couple who were buying a home were victims in a wire fraud scam.

On April 5, the Kent County Sheriff Department took a report of a fraud involving a large dollar amount via wire transaction. Police said the victims were in the process of purchasing a new home and were scheduled to be closing on the home in the upcoming days. They received an email that appeared to be from their bank and one from their builder requesting their down payment be sent by wire rather than bringing a cashier’s check with them to closing. The email appeared to be legitimate and included information such as the address of the home they were purchasing, file number, and their builder’s information. The victims wired approximately $180,000 to what they believed was the title office.

The bank that received the wired funds felt the wire transfer was suspicious and contacted the victim to question it. After realizing the wire transfer destination was fraudulent, the victim contacted the Kent County Sheriff Department for assistance.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is urging citizens to use caution and make multiple inquiries, either in person or by telephone, prior to making large value wire transactions. Make every effort to contact your builder, realtor, title company, and closing office prior to engaging in any transactions not made in person. The stress of purchasing new homes and wanting transactions to go smoothly can make people more susceptible to these scams.

If you feel you have become a victim, it is important to contact law enforcement as soon as possible because there are times the wire transfers can be stopped.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Kent County Sheriff’s Department at 616-632-6100.

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Vandals smash toilets, burn flag in sink at Skinner Field


This smashed toilet is just one of the many things destroyed in a break-in at the Skinner Field locker room over the weekend. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

Vandals struck again at Skinner Field last week, and this time it was not about stealing candy bars.

According to Shawn Kiphart, President of the Friends of Skinner Field, the concession stand and locker room were both targets recently in two different incidents. First was the concession stand, early last week. Kiphart said they dumped chemicals (cleaning supplies) on the floor, then put paper on it and tried to burn it. Then this past Sunday, they discovered the locker room had been broken into. And it was far more destructive.

Vandals burned a flag in the sink in the locker room. Courtesy photo.

According to Kiphart, the locker room has large steel doors that you cannot get into, so the suspect(s) broke out a small daylight window that sits about seven feet off the ground. Nothing appeared to be stolen, but the vandals smashed and destroyed toilets, urinals, 11 new first aid kits, showerheads, football equipment and more. Two of the toilets were brand new. They also burned a flag in the sink. 

“In years past, it was very obvious that the break-ins were more about mischief and kids getting in there to get candy,” remarked Kiphart. “But this was far more vicious. They were in there to destroy it.” 

More damage at Skinner Field. Courtesy photo.

Kiphart estimates the damage was $2,000 to $3,000.

The Friends of Skinner field Board and Cedar Youth Football League have set up a gofundme account to raise money for the repairs and losses they suffered from these latest break-ins, as well as to upgrade security and maintain the complex. Please visit their page at: 

https://www.gofundme.com/skinner-field-fund

If anyone has any information about this case, please contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345, or download the Silent Observer app for your phone, and use it to contact them. They will then pass on your tip to the Kent County Sheriff Department.

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Man hit and killed while crossing road


Brian Terhorst

A Jenison man survived a rollover crash early Sunday morning, and then was hit and killed by a pickup truck as he walked across the road.

It happened on Sunday, March 11, at about 1:55 a.m., in Sparta Township. 

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the initial crash occurred in the 12200 block of Fruit Ridge Ave. Brian Terhorst, 40, of Jenison, was driving a 2007 GMC pickup northbound on Fruit Ridge Ave when it crossed the centerline and left the roadway. The pickup hit a driveway and flipped over. The truck then landed on the passenger side in the ditch, on the west side of the roadway. 

Terhorst and his passenger, Miranda Moyer, 32, of Sparta, climbed out of the vehicle and attempted contact at a nearby residence on the east side of the road. A southbound vehicle saw the crashed pickup in the ditch and stopped and called 911 to report what had occurred. During this time, the couple walked back to the roadway. Terhorst made contact with the person in the vehicle. The second crash occurred when Terhorst was conversing with the stopped vehicle and walked back across the road to the west and walked into the path of a passing northbound vehicle driven by Jacob West, 25, of Sparta. 

Terhorst died at the scene from his injuries.

Both crashes remain under investigation. 

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Tires stolen from car dealership


Tires were stolen from two trucks at Sparta Chevrolet earlier this week. Photos from Sparta Chevrolet Facebook page.

Photos from Sparta Chevrolet Facebook page.

Police are looking for the suspects that stole two sets of tires from trucks earlier this week at Sparta Chevrolet, 8955 Sparta Avenue, in Sparta.

The Kent County Sheriff Department confirmed that two sets of tires were discovered stolen on Tuesday morning, February 27. Upon arrival Tuesday morning, employees found two of their midnight edition 1500 Silverados sitting on blocks. 

Be on the lookout for two sets of 265 65 r18 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires on GM black wheels bolt pattern 6×5.50. Police believe they may show up on ebay, Craigslist, or some other sale sight.

If you have any information, please call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. 

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Post story leads to suspects in Boomer Park break-in


By Judy Reed

Thanks to our readers, two suspects have been identified in the Boomer Park break-in we wrote about last week. 

Our story last week asked if you recognized the people in the surveillance photos that were suspects in a break-in that occurred at Boomer Park in Nelson Township, about 11 p.m. Monday evening, January 29. The field is located at 13440 Ritchie Avenue, just south of Becker, and is home to AYSO Soccer Region 902. 

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a tipster saw the information in our story, and called Silent Observer. The info was credible, and investigators located the two named individuals—two 16-year-olds, who have been referred to juvenile court.

It was a relief to those who head up the soccer organization. “AYSO Soccer Region 902 would like to graciously thank those who called in tips which led to those responsible,” said a spokesperson for the organization.

It was the fourth break-in in nine months, and this time there was also some vandalism. A spokesperson for AYSO had said they may now need to use the money they had put aside for scholarships to repair the vandalism. The scholarships are used to help players from lower income families with registration fees.

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Man charged in attempted robbery


Jerome David Richards

A Comstock Park man is in jail on a charge of unarmed robbery after he attempted to rob the Subway on West River Drive last week. 

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the man walked into the Subway at 4615 West River Drive on Thursday, February 1, at 2:39 p.m., and attempted to rob the store. He implied that he had a weapon, though none was seen. He then fled the scene on foot, without any money.

The Kent County Sheriff Department then posted surveillance photos on their Facebook page, asking for the public’s help to identify the man. (The Post also shared their post on our Facebook page.) Due to people sharing their post, the police received a credible tip and acted on it immediately. 

On February 5, they arrested Jerome David Richards, 37, of Comstock Park. He was arraigned on Tuesday, February 6, on one charge of unarmed robbery, and one charge of being a habitual offender, 3rd offense. Bond was set at $50,000.

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Contractor scam alert


The Kent County Sheriff Department recently alerted the public to a scam in West Michigan where the suspects are posing as contractors and then stealing money from elderly victims. They said that over the past month, there have been incidents reported in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Lansing, but they have not yet taken any reports in our area.

Suspects are described as Hispanic males driving a silver/grey full size pickup truck, possibly a Chevy. They typically target the elderly by telling them something on the exterior of their home is in need of repair and they offer to show the homeowner what they are talking about. While one suspect distracts the homeowner, the second suspect enters the home and typically takes money from the victim.

Pass this information along to any homeowners you know, especially the elderly, and call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100 to report any information related to this type of activity.

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Police seek suspects in break-in


By Judy Reed

Do you recognize the people in these surveillance photos? They are suspects in a break-in that occurred at Boomer Park in Nelson Township, about 11 p.m. Monday evening. The field is located at 13440 Ritchie Avenue, just south of Becker, and is home to AYSO Soccer Region 902.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, this is the fourth break-in in the last nine months.  They said the target appears to be the same as previous break-ins, however some vandalism occurred this time, which didn’t happen before.

According to an AYSO spokesperson, they may now need to use the money they had put aside for scholarships to repair the vandalism. The scholarships are used to help players from lower income families with registration fees.

If you have any information, please call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345. 

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Rehab doctor charged with criminal sexual conduct


 

Dr. Steven Scranton

A doctor at Westbrook Recovery Center, in Grand Rapids Township, was arraigned on January 31 on three charges of criminal sexual conduct.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they began the investigation on November 29, 2017, when they received information from Westbrook staff regarding inappropriate conduct on the part of Dr. Steven Scranton, 64. 

Westbrook Recovery Center treats professionals for drug addiction and mental health issues. As the investigation proceeded, patients of Dr. Scranton reported to investigators several allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct. 

A search warrant was executed at his Rockford area home on January 29, and then Scranton was arrested and lodged in the Kent County jail. He was arraigned on one count of CSC 2nd degree (multiple variables); and two counts of CSC 4th degree. Bail was set at $15,000, 10 percent. Scranton later bonded out.

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Solon man dies in crash


Aaron Dault, 23, died early Sunday, when the car he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. Facebook photo.

 

Aaron Dault takes the ball upfield for Cedar Springs Varsity Soccer in 2010. Post file photo.

A 23-year-old Solon Township man died early Sunday morning in a one-car crash on White Creek Avenue.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the crash occurred about 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning on White Creek Avenue, between 18 Mile and Wiersma, when the car that Aaron Lee Dault was driving veered off the roadway and struck a tree. Police reported that he died instantly. 

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, and police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor.

Aaron Dault, 23. Facebook photo.

Aaron is the son of Dean and Kara (Wiles) Dault, of Solon Township.

Aaron graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 2013, where he played varsity soccer and track. He was currently finishing his bachelor’s degree at Ferris State University. Aaron was also involved at his church, St. John Paul II Catholic Church here in Cedar Springs. According to his obituary, “he was adored by the parishioners and everyone he met. He will be remembered for his million dollar smile, holding the door open, and saying ‘hi’ to the people as they came for Mass.”

Click here to see Aaron’s obituary.

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