GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids pottery studio continues to pick up the pieces after a stolen car crashed through its front door.
It was a shock in the middle of the night. The owners of Grand Rapids Pottery say that on Aug. 18, someone stole a Kia down Colfax Street NE near the studio. Just after 3 a.m., the driver smashed the car 15 feet into the building, wrecking the garage door and destroying dozens of specially-crafted pots.
“Senseless destruction,” studio co-owner Jaimie Hagerman told News 8 on Wednesday.
“It’s a little unbelievable,” she continued. “This is a short residential road. How can he get that much speed to come through our door?”
Police woke up Hagerman shortly after the crash to tell her the news.
“I hung up twice on the Grand Rapids Police Department because I didn’t know why they’d be calling me,” she said.
More and more people are getting similar calls. Kia and Hyundai thefts continue to surge in Kent County. It’s a trend popularized by a TikTok video teaching people to steal the cars using just a screwdriver and a USB charging cable.
Since May 1 in Grand Rapids, there have been nearly 500 thefts or attempted thefts of Kias and Hyundais, according to GRPD. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office has also dealt with more than 100 stolen Kias and Hyundais so far this year.
GRPD has not reported any arrests for the pottery building crash. Video taken by a neighbor shows two people getting out of the car and running away.
“I guess we’re all very happy that nobody got hurt and nobody was in the building,” Hagerman said.
The studio, nestled between downtown and the Creston neighborhood, has 45 members dedicated to the art of pottery.
“These are just fantastic people to work with,” Hagerman said.
They only rent the building so the property’s owners are taking care of the damage and dealing with insurance. The only cost to the studio is expected to be the broken pottery, Hagerman said.
Crews were at the building throughout Wednesday to raise a barrier in place of the garage door. It’s unclear exactly how much it will cost to fix the damage, but it’s expected to be in the thousands.
“It could’ve been much worse,” Hagerman said. “But again, it shouldn’t have happened. ‘Cause it’s a safe little neighborhood, right?”