Thieves target several cellphone stores in Kent, Ottawa counties

Kent County

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are investigating a series of break-ins and a robbery at cellphone stores in Kent and Ottawa counties in the past few days.

The most recent crime happened around 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Cricket Wireless store on North Park Drive near E. Lakewood Boulevard in Holland Township.

A sergeant with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office told News 8 a male thief robbed the store at gunpoint, getting away with phones and an unknown amount of cash. No one was injured, according to a store employee.

The sergeant said the Cricket robbery is unrelated to several earlier break-ins.

Just before 7 a.m. Monday, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office says the Verizon Wireless store on Cottonwood Drive near Baldwin Street in Jenison was broken into. Several items were stolen from the store.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department says it’s looking into a total of five recent cellphone shop break-ins.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department investigates a break-in at a AT&T store on 10 Mile Road in Algoma Township Monday, Aug. 12, 2019.

One was a AT&T store on 10 Mile Road near US-131 in Algoma Township, west of Rockford. It was broken into around 3:30 a.m. Monday, investigators said. The News 8 crew at the scene saw the front glass door had been smashed in.

Another was a Sprint store on Northland Drive near Plainfield Avenue in Planfield Township, north of Grand Rapids. That break-in is believed to have happened late Sunday or early Monday.

The other three shops hit were all Verizon shops: one in Caledonia Township and one in Lowell Township on Saturday night and one in Plainfield Township Sunday.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department said that in all five cases, which are thought to be related, the thieves forced their way into the shops and that cellphones appeared to be the targets. In some of the burglaries, the phones were safely locked up and nothing was actually stolen. At others, display phones and accessories were taken.

Authorities said each case involved between one and four thieves. On Monday afternoon, they provided surveillance photos from some of the shops:

Anyone with information about the Kent County break-ins is asked to call Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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