Four arrested after witness calls 911, follows suspect vehicle

Posted at 9:21 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 22:42:40-04

GLENN, Mich. -- Four men from Illinois are in custody after authorities say they broke into a cellphone store and then proceeded to flee at speeds of over 100 mph.

An unnamed eyewitness called 911 shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday morning after seeing several men climb out of a broken window at the Sprint store on Douglas Avenue in Holland Township. The caller followed the suspects' vehicle, giving police updates on its location.

They witness tailed the vehicle onto US-31, at which point police were able to intercept the pursuit.

“One of our patrol units was able to stop that vehicle at which time it began to flee at speeds of over 100 miles an hour,” said Capt. John Wolffis of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

At this point, police say their units backed off from the vehicle while maintaining a visual on it. They say they were actively communicating with the Allegan County Sheriff's Department to coordinate units to intercept the suspects.

Before officers tried to pull them over again, they apparently got off US-31 in Glenn and pulled the car off to the side of the road. On 114th Avenue, just north of Blue Star Highway, the four men got out and ran into the nearby wooded area. Police quickly descended on the area.

John Kelly was just about to take his dog on their daily walk along 114th Avenue when he noticed the swarm of officers headed his way.

"They came into my property and cut my thing I had across the gate ... they had the long rifles," he said.

Police asked Kelly to put his dog inside so she wouldn't interfere with their K-9 units.

"Nothing happens here ... I knew something bad happened," he said.

Kelly continued to watch deputies search the muddy properties near his home in shock.

Wolffis says officers caught the first three suspects within about 40 minutes of beginning their search. He says the fourth suspect was arrested after breaking into a nearby home in an attempt to hide. It is unclear at this time if the suspect had any contact with anyone inside the home.

Investigators are working to determine if the suspects had tried to get into any other homes in the area.

The four suspects will not be identified until they are formally arraigned on charges. Police tell FOX 17 they are all in their late teens and from Illinois.

There was another robbery earlier Tuesday at a T-Mobile store in Grandville. Investigators are looking into the possibility that the same people were responsible.

In addition to these two incidents, this same Sprint store was robbed a week ago around the same time of day. The four teenage suspects in this incident are all currently facing charges.

"We've done a lot to educate our businesses, we've increased our patrols, but the reality is it takes a very short time to get in and get out," Wolffis said.

If you have any information about any of these incidents, you are asked to call 616-738-4000 or 616-538-6110.