Authorities: 4 admit to about 100 thefts

Ottawa County

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — An observant neighbor helped put an end to a monthslong crime spree in the Georgetown Township and Hudsonville area, detectives say.

Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mark Bennett said his department has identified four suspects who reportedly admitted to stealing several thousand dollars’ worth of property from about 100 unlocked cars and garages. He said they snatched money, phones, tablets and three guns.

Two of the suspects are 17 years old. The other two are 18. Felony charges are in the works for all four.

“All four, we will request charges as adults,” Bennett told 24 Hour News 8 Thursday.

The charges may not be issued until next week, he said. So far, none have been jailed in Ottawa County, but Bennett said one is lodged at the Allegan County Jail on unrelated charges.

The crimes began in November, but detectives were stuck until Jan. 1. That’s when a deputy responding to a larceny report got a big tip: A resident told the deputy the name of someone they saw in the area. That person ended up being one of the four suspects, Bennett said. The four suspects, who are all friends who live in that area, were then tracked down.

Bennett said the suspects sold and traded some of the stolen stuff, but investigators have recovered all three of the guns. Other stolen property has also been found.

While the suspects apparently say there were as many as 100 larcenies, deputies have not received that many reports. They say many may have been unreported.

One Hudsonville resident told 24 Hour News 8 that a small amount of cash was taken from his vehicle, but he didn’t think it was worth calling police.

“It’s not uncommon for folks to, if they’re missing in their opinion a small item or a small amount of money, they won’t report it,” Bennett said.

He said that anyone who thinks they may be a victim in the slew of thefts should call the sheriff’s office at 616.738.4000 because they may be awarded restitution.

Police are also reminding everyone to properly lock up all firearms.

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