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My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With spring break fast approaching, many West Michigan families are fine-tuning their travel plans—and so are thieves.

Most West Michigan schools will be out of session April 3-10, so families can take a vacation.  East Grand Rapids Public Safety Director Mark Herald says this is the time homeowners need to step up safety measures.  Herald shares seven ways to make your home less attractive to thieves:

My Town: West Michigan's safest and most dangerous places

My Town: West Michigan's safest and most dangerous places

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Michigan is home to one of the safest cities in Michigan, according to a new analysis by Value Penguin.

East Grand Rapids ranked fifth among midsize cities and 16th overall.  Value Penguin based its rankings on FBI crime statistics collected in 2013.  The group excluded towns with populations less than 5,000. Value Penguin then compared crimes in the remaining cities per capita, giving more weight to violent crimes than property crimes. 

The West Michigan communities that came in above the state average for crimes included Spring Lake-Ferrysburg (No. 28), Rockford (No. 45), Zeeland (No. 56), Belding (No. 80) and Grand Haven (No. 118).

My Town Cascade: Store owner on alert for booze bandit

CASCADE, Mich.—The owner of an upscale liquor store is asking for the public’s help in tracking down a booze bandit.

Paul Makkar says the thief has been a regular visitor to both of his International Beverage stores for more than a year, but it was the sharp eyes of a new employee that alerted him to the man’s slippery fingers.  Thursday night, the new worker noticed the suspect was lingering in the liquor aisle of the store on Cascade Road, and alerted Makkar.  After reviewing the store’s surveillance video, Makkar determined the thief had taken five bottles of liquor worth about $100 altogether in the span of about five minutes.  He says the video also shows the man attempting to steal mini-bottles of liquor from the store counter.   

Makkar says the man has bought items while visiting the store in the past, but he is concerned the thief may have been stealing from both of his stores for a long period of time. 

My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

KENTWOOD, Mich.—As the busiest shopping day of the year approaches, police are offering 10 ways to protect yourself and your vehicle from thieves.

 

Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.) works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to track down suspected car thieves and those suspected of auto theft-related insurance fraud.    Shoppers are encouraged to follow these tips:

Home Break-ins on South End of Grand Rapids

Home Break-ins on South End of Grand Rapids

Two homes in the same development were broken into on Friday, October 24, 2014; one in the 200 block of Loch Lomond SE and the other in the 3300 Chevy Chase SE area. The break-ins occurred between 10am and 1pm while the homes were unoccupied.

After damaging doors to gain entry, the intruders spilled contents from drawers and cabinets, leaving the homes in a mess but nothing was taken.

A silver Chrysler van with black trim on the sides was seen in the area about the time of the break-ins. The vehicle may also have an Illinois license plate.

Anyone who may have information in regard to these crimes is asked to contact the Kent County Sheriff’s office at 616-632-6357.

My Town: Potentially costly spoofing scam spreads to Kent County

My Town: Potentially costly spoofing scam spreads to Kent County

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The sheriff department is warning residents about a scam that’s made its way into Kent County.

On June 16, a resident contacted the sheriff department to report a suspicious phone call.  The suspect masked their phone number so it appeared the phone call was coming from the Kent County Sheriff Department.  The predator told the victim the Kent County Sheriff Department had a warrant out for their arrest and they needed to pay hundreds of dollars to take care of the warrant.  The scammer also used an actual sheriff department employee’s name.  Fortunately, the victim thought the call was suspicious and contacted deputies.

My Town: FBI increases laser-pointing reward

My Town: FBI increases laser-pointing reward

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- The FBI has increased its reward for information leading to the arrests of people who point lasers at aircraft.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward as part of a national campaign to  raise awareness about the crime.  Last year, 3,960 laser strikes were reported to the FBI- an average of nearly 11 incidents per day.  Lasers can light up the cockpit and potentially blind pilots. Most laser strikes happen between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m.   

Last August, police confiscated a high-powered laser light from an 11-year-old Kentwood boy, after pilots reported a laser was pointed at their planes.  The boy denied any involvement.