GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Deputies say they they arrested one teenager and are looking for several more suspects after two car chases involving stolen cars early Tuesday.
The first chase started just after midnight on Eastern Avenue near 60th Street in Gaines Township, just south of Kentwood. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy spotted a stolen Lincoln MKX bearing a stolen plate and the SUV took off. Then, in the area of 44th Street, the people inside got out and ran away. Deputies caught one of them, a 14-year-old from Kentwood. The others got away. Deputies say they found two pistols in the car.
Another deputy who was in the area of 44th Street and S. Division Avenue because of the first chase then spotted another stolen vehicle, a Jeep Compass, “circling the area.” The driver led deputies on a chase north on US-131 before the SUV came to a stop in the area of Mulford Drive and Linden Avenue in Grand Rapids’ Garfield Park neighborhood. The people inside ran away and deputies didn’t find them.
The MKX is believed to have been involved in “numerous car break-ins throughout Kent County” since it was stolen a month ago in Wyoming, deputies said. One of the guns inside had been stolen from a Plainfield Township home earlier this year. The Compass had been reported stolen Monday out of Byron Township.
The 14-year-old arrested out of the MKX was booked in to the juvenile detention facility, facing charges connected to the stolen car and the guns.
In the last few months, Kent County deputies have chased several stolen cars and arrested several teenagers as a result. Last month, deputies chased four stolen cars in the Rockford area; one got away and the deputies called off the chase on the other three because it was too dangerous.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in juvenile-related crimes,” Sgt. Eric Brunner of the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. “So anywhere from 14 to 17 years old, we’ve seen a lot of these suspects involved in stealing cars and stealing from cars.”
Brunner said that many are “reoccurring suspects.”
“They are locked up or they are charged,” he said. “However, then eventually they do get back out and they’re reoffending, doing the same thing again.”
Anyone with information about the chases, stolen cars, suspects or break-ins is asked to call the sheriff’s department at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.