GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman had her car stolen from her at gunpoint near Kentwood Monday.
It happened around 9:15 p.m. in the area of Saffron Lane SE and Billings Court SE by the Crossings Apartments in Gaines Township.
A 58-year-old woman had just arrived home and was parking her vehicle in a carport when two men approached her, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office told News 8. One suspect pointed a gun at her, while the other ripped the keys from a lanyard she was wearing around her neck.
They then took off in her vehicle, a 2007 blue Jeep Grand Cherokee, the sheriff’s office said.
The victim was not hurt.
The two suspects are both described as Black men in their late teens to early 20s. They were wearing dark-colored clothing and surgical masks.
Deputies say the incident appears to be a random crime of opportunity.
The sheriff’s office and Wyoming Department of Public Safety said they are looking into whether the case is connected to an attempted carjack that happened at a Menards in Wyoming Monday.
Kent County Undersheriff Chuck DeWitt told News 8 this is the fourth carjacking the sheriff’s office has had this year. The other three all happened in Byron Township; one in the 68th Street and Clay Avenue area, one in the 60th Street and S Division Avenue area, one on US-131. Firearms were used in three of the four, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office had three in total in 2021.
Reports of stolen cars have also been high throughout the county.
“We had right around 300 for the last two years and year to date we’re right on pace to match that total again,” Dewitt said. “It’s just a bad combination right now when it comes to having firearms involved as well as stolen cars.”
DeWitt reminded people to be mindful of their surroundings, and recommended trying to park near lights and other cars.
“That way you’re not off by yourself where someone may be able to target you a little easier than if you were around others,” DeWitt said.
DeWitt is encouraging anyone who knows anything about the armed carjacking to contact the sheriff’s office.
“The more information we get from the public the quicker we can get to a resolution,” he said. “If you see something, say something. There’s absolutely someone that knows something that would be helpful. The quicker … that we can identify these two individuals the better off that we as a community is going to be.”
Anyone with information should contact KCSO at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
— News 8’s Kyle Mitchell contributed to this report.