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Latest Barracks 616 break-in not connected to previous break-ins


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Just over a month after the previous break-in at Barracks 616 in Cascade Township, Kent County Sheriff deputies responded to another alarm drop at the gun dealer just after 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, August 20. Responding officers were on scene in 2 minutes and upon arrival discovered one of the glass entry doors to the building had been smashed out. The suspect attempted unsuccessfully to breach a locked interior door that prevented him from accessing any firearms. The suspect fled the building without stealing anything.

The suspect was described as a white male, wearing black shorts, black shoes,  a black hoodie, and carrying a black bag. No surveillance images were available at press time.

Earlier this summer, on July 10, 2019, shortly before 3:00 a.m., deputies responded to a previous break-in at Barracks 616. Investigators learned that 23 handguns were stolen in the burglary. The vehicle used in the break-in was a white colored Chevrolet Tahoe or vehicle of similar make/model. It was later determined that a vehicle matching the description from Barracks 616 surveillance video was stolen from Calvin Ave SE in the City of Grand Rapids on the evening prior to the break-in.

Following the July 10 break-in, KCSO detectives have executed several search warrants and have followed-up on many investigatory leads. As a result of this work, detectives have identified several persons of interest. At the time of this release, one suspect has been arrested in Grand Rapids by GRPD with a stolen firearm and investigators have identified two additional juvenile suspects who were also involved in both the July 10, 2019 and the September 2017 Barracks 616 breaking and entering cases.

Detectives believe that the Barracks 616 gun store burglaries are related to some of the recent cell phone store burglaries. A common theme throughout most of the break-ins is that stolen vehicles are being used in the commission of these crimes. Investigators also have reason to believe that these crimes have been influenced by local gang activity, with most of the suspects ranging from 14-18 years old. Most of the individuals who have been identified so far boast large sums of money and possess handguns.

To date, stolen firearms have been identified and recovered from several locations. One of the juvenile suspects from the July 10 break-in is currently lodged in the Kent County Juvenile Detention Facility. Approximately 5 firearms have been recovered from that break-in, and investigators are actively working the case to identify and arrest additional suspects.   

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on any of the gun store or cell phone store burglaries to contact law enforcement or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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