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Tag Archive | "vandalism"

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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Locker rooms at Skinner Field vandalized


By Judy Reed

Vandals have once again taken aim at Skinner Field, this time vandalizing the outside of the locker room with graffiti.

According to Jerry Gross, a member of Friends of Skinner Field, the damage was discovered Wednesday, March 29. He said it cannot be washed off, and will need to be repainted. No one reported seeing the crime.

“They (the vandals) are defacing public property,” said Gross. “Skinner Field belongs to the City, and we oversee the property and are trying to keep it nice. We would really like to ask for the public’s assistance with that.”

The Skinner Field concession stand and several outbuildings were also broken into last fall. No one reported hearing anything at that time either, though there would’ve been some noise to break open the back door. The suspects were caught after police distributed surveillance footage of them that was taken inside the concession stand.

Why is Skinner Field important?

The short answer is that it is a piece of Cedar Springs history and worth preserving.

Skinner Field was named after J.A. (Bert) Skinner, a leading citizen and businessman. He owned Skinner’s Drug Store, which was located at 43 S. Main Street, the vacant lot where we now hold the Christmas tree lighting. According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, Skinner started work at the age of 13 in a local drug store, and later set a record as the youngest person to pass the state pharmaceutical board. He was given his pharmaceutical license when he turned 18.

Skinner served as village president for 25 years, and was president of the board of education for 25 years. He was a state senator for two terms, and involved in Republican politics all during his life. On Friday, July 6, 1948, the Village of Cedar Springs paid tribute to Bert Skinner, and part of the tribute was the dedication of Cedar Springs Public School’s lighted athletic field, on the west side of Morley Park.

In 1991, a gift was given to the school district, to construct a running track at the field. An agreement signed by both the school and city made it available for both school athletic events and the community to run on. It was created partly on school property and partly on city property, with the school district responsible for maintenance for a period of 99 years, or until they relocated the field and running track, which they did, in the mid-2000s, when they built Red Hawk Stadium. The City later took ownership, but did not have the money to maintain it. The Friends of Skinner Field was formed, and they have renovated the field, which hosts many athletic events, including Rocket football.

If you see or hear anything suspicious at Skinner Field, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department by calling 911. If you know anything about the vandalism, you may contact non-emergency dispatch at (616) 632-6100 and ask for an officer to take a report.

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Thieves break into Skinner Field concession stand

Several items were stolen and the contents of the cupboards and freezer emptied during a break-in at the Skinner Field concession stand last week. Photo courtesy Shawn Kiphart.

Several items were stolen and the contents of the cupboards and freezer emptied during a break-in at the Skinner Field concession stand last week. Photo courtesy Shawn Kiphart.

UPDATE 10/27: The three suspects in this case have been arrested and items recovered. More info to come.

by Judy Reed

Shawn Kiphart, with Friends of Skinner Field, thought maybe this would be the year that they were going to make it through the

Items were dumped on floor during break-in at Skinner Field. Photo courtesy of Shawn Kiphart.

Items were dumped on floor during break-in at Skinner Field. Photo courtesy of Shawn Kiphart.

season without their concession stand being broken into. They had just one more Saturday of rocket football games left when they discovered last Friday morning that not only had they been broken into, but major theft and vandalism were also part of the crime.

“Last year we were broken into twice, and the year before we were broken into twice,” explained Kiphart. “In years past they just took some candy or pop, and left everything else alone. But this year was different. It was more violent.”

It wasn’t as simple as getting through a window. The suspects kicked in a heavy metal door.

Photos showed extensive vandalism on the inside of the concession stand. The suspects stole a couple of major appliances, along with all the candy and cases of soda pop. They dumped out all the chips and used the totes to carry other items. They also dumped stuff out of the freezer onto the floor, including bags of ice.

After being broken into last year, the group decided to install a trail cam in the concession stand. The suspects tried to obscure the camera’s lens by smearing nacho cheese on it, but it caught video of them in the act. There appeared to be at least three males caught

Photo from trail cam, courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Dept.

Photo from trail cam, courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Dept.

on video.

The concession stand wasn’t the only building they broke into. They also smashed a front window on the tower, and

The suspect smeared nacho cheese on the camera lens. Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Dept.

The suspect smeared nacho cheese on the camera lens. Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Dept.

broke into two other buildings near the concession stand.

The break-in happened between midnight and 2 a.m. Houses line the streets surrounding Skinner Field at Morley Park, but no one in the area reported hearing anything suspicious. “They had to be really whaling on that door and nobody reported anything,” said Deputy Jason VanDyke. “We need people to pay attention and report anything suspicious.”

Police suspect that that these same suspects may be involved in the

Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Dept.

Photo courtesy of Kent County Sheriff Dept.


Photo courtesy of the Kent County Sheriff Dept.

theft at Veteran’s Memorial Park, and several car larcenies in the area. If you have any information on this break-in, recognize anyone in the photos, or the clothing, please call the Kent County Sheriff Department at (616) 632-6100, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.



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DNR seeks info on Turkey Tract vandalism


Last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation gathered with other partners, volunteers and individuals to celebrate the opening of the first Turkey Tracts hunting area, located at Allegan State Game Area in Allegan County.

Sadly, the new Turkey Tracts kiosk, which is a large information station built by volunteers, thoughtlessly was vandalized and destroyed Friday night. It stood for only a few days.

“Vandalism on state game areas not only destroys the hard work of volunteers and partner organizations, but can hinder the ability to make improvements on the game area,” said Maria Albright, DNR wildlife technician. “Hunter license dollars may end up being spent making repairs from the destruction of public property instead of making improvements for all users to enjoy.”

The kiosk included helpful information for hunters visiting the Turkey Tract, such as maps of the area, project sponsors and information on turkey habitat management.

The destruction of the Turkey Tract kiosk is not the first case of vandalism to the Allegan State Game Area. Gates, protecting important wildlife habitat improvements from being damaged, have been torn out of the ground and sometimes even stolen completely.

“These gates are very costly to repair and replace,” added Albright. “Not to mention the cost of damage to wildlife habitat.”

Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call the 24-hour DNR Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 800-292-7800. Information may be left anonymously.

Turkey Tracts are unique turkey hunting areas across the Lower Peninsula that provide great hunting opportunities for a variety of hunters, including youth, adults new to the sport, and seniors. Learn more about hunting turkey in Michigan at mi.gov/turkey.

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Vandalism update

Cody Steven Quay

Cody Steven Quay

The name has been released of the 19-year-old arrested last week for vandalism in Cedar Springs. Cody Steven Quay, a homeless Cedar Springs teen, was arraigned on Thursday, April 3, in 63rd District Court on a charge of Malicious destruction of property—building, $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 (a felony), and one count of malicious destruction of property—personal property, $200 or more but less than $1,000 (a misdemeanor). Bond was set at $1,000 on the felony and $500 on the misdemeanor. He has a preliminary examination set for April 16 at 2 p.m.

At least two or three others were also arrested in the case, but all were juveniles.

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Police search for suspects in school vandalism

N-Break-in-school1The Michigan State Police in Lakeview and the Howard City Police Department are jointly working on a breaking and entering of the McNaughton Elementary school earlier this week.

MacNaughton Elementary, 415 Cedar St., in Howard City, was broken into  sometime between 8 pm Monday evening, May 27, and 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, May 28.

N-Break-in-school2Police said the suspect(s) did an extensive amount of damage to the interior of the school, causing officials to cancel school Tuesday. Many windows were smashed and individual rooms and a large number of computers were vandalized.

Last week there were reportedly two larcenies at the school and Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt said they may be related. Last week a very large stuffed animal “Moose” approximately 3 ft tall, and a smaller stuffed bear, was taken. Two cases of soft drinks were also taken.

If you or someone you know has information on last week’s thefts and/or this weeks breaking and entering, please contact the Howard City Police immediately at 231-937-4311. Information can remain confidential.

“Someone has information that will be useful,” said DeWitt. “We need your assistance in solving this crime against your school and your students.”


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