HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Investigators say the four suspects arrested after a chase and crash near Holland had dozens of stolen cellphones in their stolen vehicle.
The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office said around 8 a.m. Tuesday, St. Joseph County authorities alerted their deputies to a stolen vehicle in their area. Deputies spotted the suspects’ vehicle, which sped off. A short chase ensued, ending when the stolen vehicle crashed into a utility pole at E. Lakewood Boulevard/Chicago Drive and 112th Avenue in Holland Township.
Capt. Mark Bennett told News 8 the four suspects inside the vehicle ran away from the scene, sparking a shelter in place order for nearby schools, according to dispatchers.
An off-duty officer in an unmarked car arrested two of the suspects with the help of K-9s, but a female suspect then stole the officer’s unmarked car.
Bennett said the woman was captured nearby at a cemetery in Zeeland. The final suspect was found walking down a nearby street heading south around 10 a.m. and taken into custody.
Investigators who inspected the stolen vehicle found dozens of stolen cellphones and masks in the trunk, according to Bennett. He says deputies were alerted to a break-in at a cellphone store on Douglas Avenue near North River Avenue shortly after the chase.
“We believe these cellphone store break-ins are related to a larger group. This may be a small portion of that,” Bennett said.
Bennett said investigators believed the break-in may be connected to a series of similar cellphone store thefts in Ottawa and Kent counties, but Kent County authorities said Wednesday the four suspects were not involved in any of the crimes within their county. Kent County deputies believe multiple groups may be responsible for the thefts.
The intersection where the crash happened was closed but has since reopened. The crash knocked out power to the area and damaged the traffic lights. The intersection is being treated as a four-way stop.
The suspects are all from Grand Rapids, according to Bennett. He says some of them are juveniles, but all of them are not cooperating with the investigation.
One of the suspects is being treated for minor injuries he suffered during the incident.