Keeping Lowell Safe: Police Beat for January 2021

After months of relative quiet, the Lowell Police Department had a busy January, primarily because of one property in town. Beginning on January 10th, officers visited the home a series of times to respond to complaints about suspicious and disorderly activity. Plus, there was an armed robbery elsewhere in the city and a missing person case that required police attention during the month as well.

More on those in a minute, but first, here’s a snapshot of department cases during January 2021.

  • 58 calls for assistance to citizens
  • 16 total arrests
  • 11 calls for assistance to other agencies
  • 9 traffic accidents
  • 6 verbal assaults
  • 4 larcenies
  • 2 disorderly conduct
  • 1 dog/animal complaint
  • 1 ordinance violation

Plus, in January, the department made 74 traffic stops and issued 23 citations as a result.

One Property, Multiple Problems

The property requiring the most police attention last month was most recently owned by an older couple who passed away last year. They didn’t leave a will so ownership of the property is currently in question. New residents have moved in, saying they are renting the home from one relative of the couple. However, they haven’t been able to provide a rental agreement, and police have been unable to contact that relative for confirmation. A different relative says they know nothing about the people living in the house.

Meanwhile, the police have responded to multiple incidents at the property. These include the following:

  • Reports on two separate days of verbal arguments or fights outside, including one incident in which a person pointed what looked like a gun at someone as they drove away.
  • A trailer stolen from a storage facility was found on the property.
  • On different occasions, four vehicles with improper, expired or missing plates were stopped leaving the property. In three cases, the driver had a suspended license. In one case, the driver had an outstanding warrant. And in one case, the driver was found with a concealed knife.
  • During one traffic stop, a passenger was identified as a minor reported missing from the east side of the state and was released to Child Protective Services for care.
  • Lowell police officers twice assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department in searching the property, once to look for a suspect from Grand Rapids who has outstanding warrants and another time to follow-up on the stolen trailer. During the second search, an unrelated subject was arrested for outstanding warrants.

Since the home has a mortgage, the lender has the ability to send in a preservation team to ensure there is no damage to the home. The Lowell Police Department is currently working with the surviving family members and mortgage company to lock up the house, disconnect the utilities and evict any squatters.

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Armed Robbery on a Saturday Night

A resident of Ingham County listed $2,500 worth of high-end tennis shoes for sale on Facebook Marketplace. A person responded with an offer to buy the items and suggested meeting at 800 E. Main Street in Lowell. That address does not exist, and the seller turned down Grove Street when they arrived at around 9:30pm.

Two subjects apparently appeared from around a house and had a silver handgun. There was a brief struggle, and two shots were fired although no one was injured. The subjects took the tennis shoes and fled the scene.

The Lowell Police Department does not have any suspects yet in the case. The only information they were provided was that the subjects were two young, black males and that they left the scene heading west on Main Street in a tan sedan.

Officers remind everyone that when buying or selling online to choose a highly trafficked location, such as a gas station, to complete the transaction and meet during the daytime hours if possible. While the police station lobby is currently closed because of the COVID-19 restrictions, officers would be happy to come to the front door or step out into the parking lot to monitor a transaction if needed. Contact the police department in advance to ensure an officer is available.

Missing Person Said to be in Utah

A Lowell woman who was reported missing in early January called her family to say she is in Utah. However, police have not made contact with the woman directly so she is still listed in a national database as missing. Police say there is no indication she didn’t freely leave the state, but any police officer who comes in contact with her or her vehicle will be alerted of her missing status so they can check on her welfare.

Keep Streets and Sidewalks Clear

Lowell Police remind people that winter isn’t over yet. Please continue to keep parked vehicles off the street overnight so plows can clear the roadways. Sidewalks must also be cleared within 24 hours of a snowfall.

The Showboat City Social District is expected to launch soon. When it does, the Lowell Police Department will have an officer on patrol to ensure all goes smoothly. Don’t forget that alcoholic beverages must remain in the district boundaries (which will be designated with signs), and N. Monroe Street from the alleyway to Main Street will be closed as part of the district.

An earlier version of this article indicated the city’s social district would begin this weekend. We have since learned that the opening has been delayed, and this article was updated to reflect that information.

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