String of business burglaries in Kent County, investigators say they may be connected

Posted at 10:34 PM, Jul 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-25 22:34:29-04

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Business owners are being put on alert.  Thieves are targeting retail stores in Kent County and investigators with the Sheriff’s Department said they could all be tied to other crimes in the area as well.

The latest break-in happened early Friday morning at Admiral Tobacco located in the 3900 block of Alpine Avenue.

According to the clerk working at the store, the criminals were in-and-out in under two minutes.

Investigators said the thieves arrived at the store in a white van around 6:00am Friday and pried the store’s backdoor open.

Once inside, the clerk said they stole Marlboro, Kools, and Newport menthol cigarettes and left other brands untouched.

Another Tobacco Admiral in the 3600 block of Plainfield Avenue was broken into in a similar fashion two days prior.

Police say thieves brought duffel bags and left with stolen cigarettes and money.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said it also may be tied to a Boost Mobile break-in that happened earlier this month on 28th Street.  Surveillance video shows a man break the glass near the front door and run into the store.

The owner of the Boost Mobile, Teion Crews, said the criminal stole phones and again got in-and-out in two minutes.

“We did up our surveillance and added a few more cameras, my partner and I, and you know, that isn’t always a deterrent for crime,” Crews said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-336-3113 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.