Man indicted two years after theft of 89 guns

Kent County

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man is facing federal charges in the theft of 89 handguns stolen from a gun shop in Cedar Springs.

A federal grand jury in Grand Rapids indicted Charles Edward Skipp, 39, in the November 2017 theft at Family Farm and Home.

He’s charged with the theft and with being a felon in possession of firearms.

Charles Skipp
A mug shot of Charles Skipp from the Kent County Correctional Facility. (Oct. 10, 2019)

He is already in the Kent County jail on a $500,000 bond on charges of armed robbery and weapons crimes, jail records show.

Court records show the thieves used a saw to cut their way into the store through a loading dock door, then used a saw to cut open the display cases. They took every weapon in the cases.

More than 70 of the guns are still unaccounted for.

  • cedar springs family farm and home gun theft
  • cedar springs family farm and home gun theft

>>App users: Photos from the burglary

Records show the alarms didn’t go off due to a malfunction in the store’s new security system.

Less than 24 hours after the theft, Grand Rapids police with a search warrant for drugs and firearms raided a home at 1015 Ionia Ave. SW, north of Hall Street. Police had seen Derreck Banks, 34, of Grand Rapids, in a rental car going to and from the home, where Banks’ long-time friend, Demetrius Toliver, lived, records show.

“Mr. Banks and three other men were at the 1015 Ionia Avenue house in the afternoon after the FFH (Family Farm and Home) robbery, and were grinding serial numbers off firearms with a small grinding tool,” records show.

Police arrested Banks and Toliver in a back alley as they tried to run. Police said they found four guns on the ground nearby, three more on the roof and another gun inside on top of a dresser. They said serial numbers had been ground off.

Grand Rapids police later raided the home of Banks’ mother, 4219 Oak Park Dr. SE off of Kalamazoo Avenue, where they said they found six guns in his bedroom closet.

Banks was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for his role, while Toliver was sentenced to 10 years.

Owners of Family Farm and Home say they’ve improved security since the theft.

The shop is among those hit 14 times by thieves over the last two years in Kent and Ottawa counties. In most cases, thieves broke in through glass doors. In all, 221 guns were stolen, mostly handguns. More than 160 of the guns have not been recovered.

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