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Tag Archive | "Kent County Sheriff Department"

Credit card skimmer found at local gas station


_N-Credit-card-Skimmer_file-photoOn Saturday, March 19, 2016, state and federal regulators and various law enforcement agencies conducted a full-scale gas pump blitz across Michigan as part of the ongoing efforts to crackdown on consumer credit card information being hacked by credit card skimmers.

The Kent County Sheriff Department participated in the sweep that was coordinated by the Department of Agriculture and partnered with the FBI. Michigan State Police, and other Sheriff Departments in several counties. During the sweep, a credit card skimmer was found a pump at the Citgo gas station, located on 17 Mile and White Creek, in Cedar Springs. The skimmer was collected by the Kent County Sheriff Department and turned over to the FBI.

Due to the skimmer being proactively located, it is believed that several people were protected from credit card fraud, as the unknown suspect(s) were unable to retrieve the information contained on the skimmer,” said Sgt. Jason Kelley, with Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs unit.

During Saturday’s blitz, which took officials from Grand Rapids to Saginaw to Lansing to the U.P. to Detroit and Traverse City, three credit card skimming devices were removed and confiscated and more than 3,000 pumps were checked. The other two skimmers were found at gas stations in Howell, Michigan.

These blitzes make it clear to these cyber-criminals we’re actively looking for skimming devices – not just during the traditional work week – but on weekends too,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD Director. “Credit card skimmers will not be tolerated and Michigan’s Weights and Measures inspectors, gas station owners, and law enforcement will continue to be on the hunt for skimmers to protect the state’s consumers from fraud.”

Credit card skimmers can’t be seen from outside the pump. Criminals use keys to quickly open the pumps, insert the skimmers and leave. Skimmers can be installed in seconds. The skimmers then make a copy of the consumer’s card information for criminals to make fraudulent purchases.

Some steps station owners can take to protect their patrons are changing locks, using tamper-proof security tape, and adding security cameras. Additionally, owners should also be increasing their dispenser inspections, and be more aware of these attacks,” said Clover Adams.

Jennifer Holton, with the MDARD, said that checking for skimmers has been an everyday practice since August 2015, but occasionally they do a blitz. “Not only do we check the quality of the gasoline, but we check for skimmers, too,” she explained.

Holton said that if something seems off at the pump, go inside to pay, and alert the cashier if you see something off. You should also regularly monitor your credit and debit card info to make sure you recognize purchases. “Immediately notify your banking institution if you notice something that shouldn’t be there,” she said.

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Falling tree causes car crash


The accident occurred just north of 14 Mile, near Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed

The accident occurred just north of 14 Mile, near Cedar Creek. Post photo by J. Reed

A tree landed on the roof of this car Wednesday, causing the driver to swerve and roll the car. Post photo by J. Reed

A tree landed on the roof of this car Wednesday, causing the driver to swerve and roll the car. Post photo by J. Reed

By Judy Reed

A freak accident sent two people from Solon Township to the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

According to both the Kent County Sheriff Department and a witness at the scene, a Chevrolet Cruze was heading south on Algoma about 2:06 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, just north of 14 Mile, when high winds toppled a tree and it landed on the roof of the car.

“They panicked and swerved and flipped the car into the ditch,” explained Brian Bos, of Moline, who was traveling behind the car and saw it happen. He immediately called 911, then went to check on the occupants. “They were pretty shaken up,” he said.

This tree snapped and landed on the roof of a passing car Wednesday, causing it to leave the road. Photo by J. Reed

This tree snapped and landed on the roof of a passing car Wednesday, causing it to leave the road. Photo by J. Reed

Shortly after the accident, winds took down another tree just north of the scene.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Michael Allen, the two occupants in the vehicle, driver Sheldon Lennox, 56, and Bobbi Scholten, 52, suffered minor injuries and were transported to Spectrum Butterworth by Rockford Ambulance. They were reportedly on their way to Florida.

Algoma Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Police arrest six in credit card fraud, seek another suspect


 

One suspect may have made over $100,000 in purchases

The Kent County Sheriff Department arrested six suspects in three separate credit card fraud incidents on March 4 and 5, and police are seeking a woman in another case.

According to police, the subjects are using stolen credit card information on line to make purchases or reprogramming the magnetic strip on credit cards or gift cards with stolen credit card information and using the cards to make in store purchases. In addition, suspects are using stolen personal information to obtain services/items of value such as cell phones.

The first suspect was arrested on March 4, for an incident that happened in Byron Township on January 21. The suspect had reportedly purchased merchandise with a stolen credit card. The investigation over the following month revealed a 27-year-old male from Detroit, Deandre Calhoun, made purchases from at least four businesses in Kent County using stolen credit cards. After his arrest Kent County detectives, with the assistance of the Detroit Police Departments, searched a couple of houses in the City of Detroit. Detectives located property such as a sofa, TV, and collectible coins from victims in Kent County. They also located hundreds of credit cards, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and people’s personal information, along with equipment to encode the magnetic strip on credit cards in the houses.

The suspect is believed to have purchased or attempted to purchase over $40,000.00 worth of property from Kent County businesses and is believed to have made purchases with stolen credit card information in excess of $100,000. He has been charged by larceny over $20,000.00, unlawful use of a computer, and illegal use of a financial transaction device.

In another case, Kent County deputies made contact on March 5 with a couple of subjects from the Detroit area at a gas station in Plainfield Township, after they made some suspicious purchases of cigarettes with gift cards. The suspects had several gift cards on them which had the magnetic strip reprogrammed with stolen credit card information. In addition, they had 18 cartons of cigarettes in their vehicle, which are believed to have been purchased with the stolen credit card information. Deputies were able to track fraudulent purchases to at least two businesses located in Kent County.

One of the suspects, Willie Coger, a 21-year-old male from Detroit, was lodged at the Kent County Jail and charged with possession of a fraudulent transaction device.

In the third case, Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the Meijer store in Cascade Township on March 5, after receiving a call of several people smoking marijuana in the parking lot. Deputies were able to locate the vehicle and made contact with three subjects who were from the Detroit area.

During their investigation deputies located a small amount of marijuana. Deputies also became suspicious of possible credit card fraud after locating numerous gift cards, Visa Green Dot cards, 10 IPAD Airs, 4 boxes of shoes, a PS4, a hoverboard, and clothing.

Do you know this woman? Police are seeking to identify her in relation to identity theft and credit card fraud in Byron Township. If  you recognize her, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department Detective Bureau at 632-6100 Ext. 6 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

Do you know this woman? Police are seeking to identify her in relation to identity theft and credit card fraud in Byron Township. If you recognize her, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department Detective Bureau at 632-6100 Ext. 6 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

It was determined the subjects had numerous stolen credit card numbers programmed on the back of gift cards and were using the stolen numbers to make their purchases. The value of the merchandise recovered in the vehicle was close to $7,000.00 and the total credit card fraud the suspects are responsible for is thought to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The suspects are Desean Porter, 26, and Arthur Jackson, 26, along with 25-year-old Jennifer Harris, all from the Detroit area. They were lodged at the Kent County Jail and charged with possession of a fraudulent financial transaction device.

In another incident of identity theft unrelated to the above credit card frauds, the Kent County Sheriff Department took a report on Feb. 6, where a female went to a Sprint store located in Byron Township and used someone else’s identification to open up an account and obtained four Iphone 6’s valued at $2,600. On the same date, two other Sprint stores in the area had a similar female do the same thing at their locations.

The suspect is described as a heavier set black female in her twenties. Detectives have not been able to identify the female suspect in this case and are asking anyone that may recognize the person of interest in the attached photo to contact the Kent County Sheriff Department Detective Bureau at 632-6100 Ext. 6 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Man killed in crash after leaving work 


William Rowan and his wife, Coreen.

William Rowan and his wife, Coreen.

A man who was a longtime employee of Vitale’s Pizza in Cedar Springs was killed after leaving work Sunday evening, January 17, when another car hit him head on.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, William Rowan, 48, of Grand Rapids was headed southbound on White Creek Avenue, just south of 17 Mile Road, in an Oldsmobile Cutlass, about 10:24 p.m., when a Cadillac headed north on White Creek crossed the centerline and struck Rowan’s vehicle.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 37-year-old Cedar Springs man driving the Cadillac sustained minor injuries and was treated on scene.

Police said that weather may have been a factor in the crash. It is unknown whether alcohol was a factor. The crash is still under investigation, and the name of the other driver has not been released.

A gofundme page has been set up for Bill’s wife, Coreen, who is also a Vitale’s employee, and their six-year-old son Levi. You can visit it at https://www.gofundme.com/a8jvycdg.

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Man involved in standoff gets prison time


Adam Lee Dickinson

Adam Lee Dickinson

The Cedar Springs man who choked his girlfriend and was involved in a standoff with police for several hours last summer has been sentenced to serve between two and 10 years in prison.

The event started on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, when police received a frantic 911 call from a woman at 348 S. Sarah Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates, who said that her boyfriend, identified as Adam Lee Dickinson, 24, had choked her and that he was armed with a shotgun. He had forced her out of the home, holding the gun in one hand, and their one-year-old girl in the other.

The Kent County Sheriff Department, assisted by the Michigan State Police, responded to the scene, shortly before 8 p.m., July 22, and secured a perimeter around the residence. They also blocked off intersections leading to the residence. Several hours were spent giving verbal commands through a loudspeaker. Police repeatedly told the man to exit the home, but they got no response. Kent County Sheriff Department Hostage Negotiators were also called to the scene to assist, however, Dickinson refused to communicate with them.

The Kent County Sheriff Department Tactical Team also responded and utilized several methods, including the deployment of cameras, to monitor Dickinson and ensure the child was not injured inside the home.

After a several hour standoff, the Tactical Team entered the residence and took Dickinson into custody. The one year old child was rescued and in good spirits when she was turned over to her mother. The Sheriff Department said two members of the Tactical Team suffered minor injuries while taking Dickinson into custody.

Dickinson was originally charged with unlawful Imprisonment; two counts of Assault by Strangulation; two counts of Resisting and Obstructing a Police Officer Causing Injury; and child abuse-3rd degree. As part of a plea deal, all but three of the charges were dismissed. Dickinson will serve one to four years on each of the resisting and obstructing a police officer counts, and two to 10 years on the assault by strangulation charge.

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Sparta man dies after ORV accident


Derek Bellows died following an ORV accident Christmas eve morning. Photo from gofundme page.

Derek Bellows died following an ORV accident Christmas eve morning. Photo from gofundme page.

A Sparta man who died following a tragic ORV accident early Christmas eve morning has given the gift of life to others.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Derek Bellows, 23, of Sparta, was driving a 2000 Yamaha quad westbound on 14 Mile Road NW, west of Phelps Avenue NW, in Sparta Township, when he hit a tree that had fallen across the road. He was thrown from the quad and found lying in the roadway. He was not wearing a helmet, and suffered a severe head injury.

Police believe the accident occurred between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. He was discovered about 6:25 a.m. It was unknown whether alcohol or excessive speed was involved.

Derek was transported to the hospital, where he was put on a ventilator. He died on December 26.

According to a gofundme page set up in his memory, Derek’s organs were donated to save the lives of several people. It was reportedly close to Derek’s  heart, because his grandfather received a new heart eight  years ago.

According to the gofundme page, “Derek was an amazing young man and full of life. He loved the outdoors, riding horses, snowmobiles, four-wheelers or whatever he could drive fast.  He also had a huge heart for people and animals. Derek loved horses and especially his dog.”

His funeral will be January 2, at 1 p.m. at Ballard Church of Christ. To make a memorial contribution, visit the gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/9ygj28qk. Contributions will benefit the Wounded Warrior project.

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Woman regains stolen cash in Christmas miracle


N-ChristmasMiracleWhen a purse is stolen, there is usually not much of a chance of getting back any cash that was tucked away in it. But thanks to customers and staff of a local business, and the Cedar Springs Unit of the Kent County Sheriff Department, a Christmas miracle occurred for one lucky lady.

According to Jane Weirda, office manager at Rowland’s Surplus Outlet, 130 W. Muskegon Street, 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 away, with a large amount of cash missing from it. “It had been taken out of the bank that morning to give to her kids for Christmas,” said Jane.

They then looked at their security camera footage, identified the thief, and called police. A police officer went to the house of the suspect, then returned to the store with all of the cash. “It was fantastic,” said Jane. “We are very lucky to have such great community and customers who rallied to help this woman and we were so happy to have this have a happy ending! Christmas miracles do happen!”

Sgt. Jason Kelley with the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Cedar Springs Unit verified the money had been recovered, but as of press time, the suspect had not yet been arraigned. The suspect’s name is not released until after arraignment.

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Woman discovered dead in Spencer Township


 

The woman found dead in Spencer Township the day after Christmas with two young children nearby is a heartbreaking example of what postpartum depression can do to a young mother.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a caller reported they were walking a dog on a trail in the woods east of Lincoln Lake and 18 Mile Road shortly before 10:30 a.m. December 26, when they came upon a car parked back there with the engine running.

Deputies discovered a woman lying on the ground, with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Her three-year-old daughter was lying partially on top of her. The girl was conscious and alert but suffering from hypothermia. The woman’s 5-month-old son was in a car seat in the car.

AeroMed was called to the scene and transported the children to Spectrum DeVos Children’s Hospital. A bullet fragment was discovered in the three-year-old girl’s head, and she was rushed into surgery, where they removed it.

Police said the woman was reportedly suffering from postpartum depression. Based on the investigation, they believe that the wound to the three-year-old’s head may have been an unintended and accidental consequence of the gunshot that killed the mother.

The woman, identified as Sasha Hettich, 27, went missing on Christmas Day. She lived with her husband and children in Grand Rapids. A gofundme page has been set up for the family to help with household expenses, childcare expenses, and funeral costs. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/sashagr.

If you or a loved one suffers from postpartum depression, there are services available in Kent County. You can call Pine Rest’s pregnancy and postpartum hopeline at 844-MOM-HOPE (844.666.4673); Postpartum Support International at 1.800.944.4773; Spectrum Health Postpartum Emotional Support Program at 616.391.1771; and Network 180 at 800.749.7720. In an emergency call 911.

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Police investigate shooting


Cory M. Newville

Cory M. Newville

A 20-year-old Algoma Township man died last weekend from a gunshot wound he suffered while playing with a handgun.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, the shooting happened in the 2200 block of Rector about 10:53 p.m. December 5. They said that the 20-year-old male, identified as Cory M. Newville, suffered a fatal gunshot wound that appeared to have been self-inflicted.

Police said the victim recently obtained a handgun and was playing with it inside of the residence.

Three witnesses present during the time of the shooting were interviewed by Investigators. Police said all parties involved are being cooperative.

An autopsy was performed on December 7 and confirmed the cause of death to be from a gunshot wound. Police said that further tests are being performed and will be available at a later date.

The death is still under investigation.

Funeral services for Cory Newville are Thursday, December 10, at 11 a.m. at Hessel-Cheslek Funeral Home.

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Police officers honored 


Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, was presented with a shield of faith by Randy Badge (right), with the Men of Honor program. Photo by T. Bauer.

Sgt. Jason Kelley, of the Kent County Sheriff Department Cedar Springs Unit, was presented with a shield of faith by Randy Badge (right), with the Men of Honor program. Photo by T. Bauer.

By Tim Bauer

On Thursday, November 12, Sgt. Jason Kelley, who is stationed in Cedar Springs with the Kent County Sheriff Department, attended an after school program to speak to a group of our middle school young men about courage. The program, headed up by Randy Badge, is called Men of Honor. (There is also a Ladies of Honor program). It focuses on reviving chivalry, honor, courageous leadership, and moral excellence in the next generation, by utilizing a three-pronged strategy of camps, conferences and curriculum. The group wanted to honor our local police officers for their selfless service within the greater Cedar Springs area. By putting into action what they have been taught, the group hopes that other communities will hear about this and do the same thing.

A Shield of Faith was presented to Sgt. Kelley, and the rest of the officers stationed in our city, as a token of appreciation for their daily commitment to protect the citizens of our community. Badge, a teacher at Cedar Springs High School, believes in the vital importance of teaching timeless principles of integrity and character in those who will become our next generation of leaders. Thank you Randy Badge and Sergeant Kelley for your invaluable service to our community. The citizens of Cedar Springs salute you!

To find out more go to http://themenofhonor.org/.

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