OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. - Vehicles and firearms were stolen Tuesday morning in a series of home and car break-ins in the Allendale and Jenison areas. Investigators believe the incidents tied to this spree involve cars and vehicles that were left unlocked, with two handguns stolen.
Ottawa County Sheriff's Department Capt. Mark Bennett believes the crimes could be connected.
"My main concern in this particular incident is that there’s two firearms that are outstanding, and at this point have we have no idea where they’re at," said Capt. Bennett. "We know that those firearms get around. We know they're used in other criminal events. We know they're traded often for narcotics. It's just not a good recipe."
Police first learned about the crimes at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday when a resident in the 10000 block of Waterpoint Drive called police after chasing an intruder out of his home with a shotgun.
No shots were fired and there were no injuries. The intruder was described as a white male about six feet tall with a slender build and a bushy goatee. During their investigation, deputies found several vehicles in the area had been broken into. Neighbors we spoke with were unsettled, taking extra precautions to protect their families and personal belongings.
Around 5:00 a.m. there were reports of two stolen vehicles in Georgetown Township, a 1999 gray Chevy Suburban with Michigan plate 2BZS76 stolen from the 1600 block of Southlawn Street, and a 2002 white Chevy Tahoe with Michigan plate CDW9643 stolen from the 7700 block of Chickadee Drive.
"The fact there was two vehicles stolen in Georgetown seemed to indicate there was more than one suspect," said Capt. Bennett.
Residents are urged to lock car doors, close the garage, and remove any valuable items from their vehicles, especially firearms. Capt. Bennett believes items worth tens of thousands of dollars have been stolen, including the vehicles and the weapons.
Around 8 a.m. Tuesday, investigators believe they found a lead in Grand Rapids near John Ball Park.
"On the westside near the area of Watson and Marion, we found some paperwork that we determined was from one of our Allendale victims," said Capt. Bennett. "Paperwork included names and addresses, and it was paperwork taken from cars. Obviously the suspects were living in that area."