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Tag Archive | "robberies"

Year in Review: Robberies plague city


Rite Aid was robbed on Friday, September 13.

Rite Aid was robbed on Friday, September 13.

Last year (2012) closed with a rash of robberies, and several more occurred in 2013.

It was just a year ago, on December 29, 2012, that the Kent Theatre was robbed during the 9 p.m. showing of a “Life of Pi.” Cedar Springs Police said that a man in a puffy gray jacket with a stocking cap pulled down over his face walked into the Kent Theatre about 10 p.m. and demanded money, while implying a weapon. He got an undisclosed amount of cash from the concession stand and grabbed the donation can before fleeing on foot. Dogs tracked the suspect to a house on First Street, and then back to the road, where they lost the scent. He has never been found.

The Kent Theatre robbery was the second in a string of robberies. The Admiral gas station had been robbed the week before, on December 22. The third robbery occurred on December 31, New Year’s Eve, at Family Video, at the corner of Main and Muskegon Streets, around 9:50 p.m. The man was described as having dark hair and dark clothing, about 30 years old. He walked around the store for about 20 minutes without a mask waiting for others to leave then pulled a stocking cap down over his face with eye holes cut out and approached the counter. He showed the clerks a 5 or 6-inch hunting knife and demanded money. He then walked away to the west, towards Second St. Dogs tracked him Second Street to Beech before losing the scent.

The robberies continued in 2014, with three more businesses being robbed: the Instant Cash Advance store on July 24, the Admiral gas station on August 17, and Rite Aid on Friday, September 13.

According to police, a tall black male entered the Instant Cash Advance Store at 151 S. Main Street and demanded money while showing a gun. After collecting the cash, he fled on foot. He was wearing a plastic mask, similar to one used in robberies in the city of Wyoming. Wyoming Police and the FBI subsequently arrested a man for bank robbery and robberies of other Cash Advance Stores, and they believe he may be tied to this one as well.

On August 17, a man entered the Admiral gas station about 12:40 a.m. with something in his hand and demanded money, and then fled on foot. A K-9 unit tracked  him a short distance to the area of Beech and First Street, and then lost the scent. The suspect did not wear a mask or try to cover his face. He was described as a white male in his twenties, 5 feet 9 inches and around 190 pounds. He had side burns and a pierced tongue. He wore a navy blue baseball style cap, blue shirt, and black shorts with a white stripe down the side.

_N-Robbery-rite-aid-suspectOn September 13, a man walked into the Rite Aid on 17 Mile in Cedar Springs about 4 p.m. and robbed the store at gunpoint. According to the police dispatch, he reportedly told the clerk he had killed two people, and would kill another.

A witness was standing at the counter waiting for the clerk, and saw the two ladies standing with the suspect and putting something in a yellow bag. He thought they were helping a customer. He said that the suspect then ran out, and the clerk said they had been robbed.

The witness then ran out and told his adult son, who was waiting for him in the car. The son then chased after the suspect, who ran west to the back of Subway, then south behind the strip mall and into the woods. But the man lost him at that point. “I didn’t see which way he went when he got to the woods,” he explained.

Both the witness and his son were upset about the robbery. “If I’d known sooner what was happening, I would’ve hit him in the throat so hard,” remarked the witness, who was a former police officer and security guard.

Several other police agencies helped Cedar Springs Police in the search for the suspect. Roadblocks were set up on White Creek Avenue by the Kent County Sheriff Department, and a Michigan State Police canine unit was called in, but the dog lost the scent and the suspect was not captured.

According to a witness, the suspect was about 5-foot four-inches, with a dark (tanned) face, sunglasses, black hair or wig, black hoodie, and light-colored jeans. Possibly in his mid-twenties.

Anyone with information on any of these robberies is asked to call the Cedar Springs Police at 696-1311, or contact Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345. Silent Observer can be contacted confidentially by using the Report A Crime section on their website, which is www.silentobserver.org. Or, download their mobile app and send an anonymous tip right from your smartphone.

 

 

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Police Chief talks about robberies


By Judy Reed

 

Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent spoke to the Cedar Springs Area Chamber Commerce Monday evening about the robberies that took place last month and ways and things business owners should do if one occurs.

“These will not be quickly solved,” he said

N-Admiral-surveilanceThe first robbery occurred on October at the Admiral gas station, on October 9, at about 9:20 p.m. It was robbed again on December 22, about 9:02 p.m. Then, on December 29, the Kent Theatre was robbed at about 10 p.m. In each case, a man with a mask pulled over his face implied he had a weapon and demanded money, and then fled on foot to the east side of town.

Two days later, on December 31, New Year’s Eve, Family Video was robbed at about 9:50 p.m. A man in dark hair and dark clothing walked around the store for about 20 minutes without a mask waiting for others to leave, then pulled a stocking cap down over his face with eye holes cut out and approached the counter. He showed the clerks a 5 or 6 inch hunting knife and demanded money.  He then walked away to the west, towards Second St. He was tracked to Beech and Second Street, where the scent disappeared.

Each time the clothing has been different, but he has been described as about 5 foot 8 inches, and somewhere between 165 to 200 pounds.

Chief Parent urged residents to report any suspicious activity, such as a car parked and idling in a spot where it normally wouldn’t be, and if they see a crime, to be a good witness. “Look for scars, tattoos, the type of clothing they wear,” he said.

Anyone with information should please call the Cedar Springs Police a 616-696-1311, or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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Greenville Police seek info on robberies


The Greenville Department of Public Safety is asking for assistance from the public regarding information that would lead to the identification, arrest and prosecution of those involved in recent criminal activity in the city of Greenville. The department is looking for the individual(s) responsible for the Huntington Bank Robbery, Huch’s Jewelry larceny, and the Family Dollar robbery.
The Huntington Bank in Greenville was robbed about 10:34 a.m. Wednesday, November 9. The male suspect is described as 6-foot to 6-foot 3 inches, medium build wearing light colored blue jeans, black shoes, blue coat with black and white stripes in a plaid pattern, blue knit mask with no holes visible, and a dark winter type cap with flaps. The suspect produced a dark colored handgun and left the bank in an easterly direction on foot. He got away with an undisclosed amount of money.
The larceny at Huchs Jewelry happened November 29, at about 1:30 p.m. A white male, 5’11, 200 pounds, with dark hair, and a 2-day growth of beard, entered Huch’s Jewelers in downtown Greenville and was looking at items. The subject then distracted the employee, grabbed the items off the counter and fled on foot out the back door through the alley.  He was last seen northbound in the alley.
He was wearing a black under armour hat with a white logo, and a dark colored light winter jacket with a red, hooded sweatshirt underneath.
The Family Dollar Store in Greenville was robbed on Thursday, January 5, about 8:30 p.m. A robber walked in with a handgun and demanded cash. Employees emptied the cash register for the robber and then fled to a back room, where they called police. The robber was described as a man about six feet tall, 170 pounds with a mustache, green gloves, black boots, jeans and a plaid grey hoodie, with a white hood. The suspect was also wearing a ski mask.
If you have any information please contact Detective Aniszko at the Greenville Department of Public Safety at 754-9161.

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Rockford man arrested for robberies


Michael Scott Houston

Detectives with the Kent County Sheriff Department have arrested Michael Scott Houston, 37, from Rockford, in connection with recent armed robberies.
Investigators were able to match a face on surveillance footage with a name they got through a tip from Silent Observer.
Houston, who is currently on parole for armed robbery, was arrested on Friday, December 9, by Sheriff Dept. Investigators. Detectives believe Houston, who is charged with holding up the Clark Gas Station on 28th St. in Cascade Twp, on November 29, may also have robbed a Shell Gas Station in Grand Rapids.  Detectives from both agencies are working together on these separate robberies.
Houston has been charged with Armed Robbery, Felony Firearm, Felony Larceny and a Parole Detainer and is being held on a $95,000 bond.

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