Kent County

Man suspected in 7 robberies in 2 states

Jacob Savickas wanted in connection unarmed robberies in Kent County and Indiana

Joe LaFurgey and 24 Hour News 8 web staff -

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help to track down a man allegedly involved in a crime spree spanning two states.

Jacob Abraham Savickas, 33, is wanted in connection to at least seven unarmed robberies in as many days starting July 26.

Grand Rapids police say he's a person of interest in the Wednesday morning robbery of the Independent Bank branch on Plainfield Avenue NE. Authorities say he may also be involved in crimes that happened in Walker that same morning.

The other unarmed robberies:

  • July 26: J & H Mobil at 4404 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming
  • July 27: Admiral gas station, 194 S. Main Street NE, Cedar Springs
  • July 27: Marathon gas station, W. Western Avenue, South Bend, IN
  • July 27: Low Bob's 4505 N. Ameritech Dr., South Bend, IN
  • July 28: Beacon Credit Union, 820 North Broadway, Peru, IN
  • Aug. 1: Next Door Food Store, 4616 Alpine Ave. NW, Alpine Township

The description of the suspect and his getaway car -- a dark blue or purple 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue -- point to Savickas as the suspect. Authorities have issued arrest warrants for him for absconding parole, larceny from a person and fleeing and eluding.

A check of Savickas' criminal record, mostly for writing bad checks, provides no rhyme or reason as to why he's allegedly stepped up to big-time felonies.

His court record doesn't involve only criminal complaints. In May, Savickas applied for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which would allow him to work out a plan to repay his debts over the next five years.

According to bankruptcy court records, he owes nearly $45,000 to 49 creditors including:

  • The IRS for taxes and other debts to the government;
  • The Michigan Department of Treasury for taxes and other debts to the government;
  • The Kent County Circuit Court Clerk for restitution in a 2015 retail fraud case;
  • The Michigan Department of State for driver responsibility fees (online Michigan State Police records show a 2008 conviction for operating while impaired, a misdemeanor that carries a driver responsibility fee);
  • The Michigan Department of Corrections for a supervision fee and a tether fee.

His assets were valued at $6,420. Included in that was a 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue with more than 278,000 miles on it estimated to be worth $200 and a Michigan Food Assistance Bridge Card with $194 on it.

Investigators say they won't know what his motives were until they can talk to Savickas, but they're not ruling out anything, including his financial situation.

The sheriff's office believes the crimes will continue and could even escalate until Savickas is found and arrested.

"He's not implied a weapon, and we haven't seen a weapon (at any of the robberies), so there's not any indication that he's armed at this point," Kent County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Joel Roon said.

But while no one's been hurt, there's concern that could change.

After the Cedar Springs holdup, Savickas fled after a deputy spotted him at a rest stop on US-131 near 12 mile. He had a female passenger with him who has not been implicated in any of the crimes. Deputies ended the chase when it became too dangerous.

Investigators are reaching out to the public, not just for help in finding Savickas, but also as a warning for anyone who encounters him.

"Don't get in his way. Don't try to prevent him from fleeing," Roon said. "Simply call 911 so that we can get our officers into the area as quickly as possible. He's demonstrated several times now that he's not afraid to take risks as he leaves an area."

Savickas is described as 5-foot-10, weighing 150 to 170 pounds. He has short brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen driving a dark blue or possibly purple 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue 4D with Michigan license plate DNL1257.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kent County Sheriff's Department at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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