Keeping Lowell Safe: Police Beat for June 2019

In June, the Lowell Police Department received 187 calls for service. These included the following, among others:

  • 21 calls for assistance to citizens
  • 13 calls for assistance to other agencies
  • 10 total arrests
  • 9 larcenies
  • 8 ordinance violations
  • 6 car accidents
  • 3 breaking and entering
  • 1 arrest of operating while intoxicated

A string of stolen vehicles meant a busy month for the department, and it received assistance from other agencies 18 times over the course of June. Most of that assistance came in the form a scientific support unit which helped process cars for forensic evidence.

More on that and the other June cases is below.

No Drug Arrests for the Month

The Lowell Police Department didn’t record any drug-related arrests for the month of June 2019. According to social media comments made in reply to the previous month’s police report, some residents are concerned the department isn’t following up on tips provided about drug use in the city.

Lowell’s First Look asked about that assertion, and Police Chief Steve Bukala says it does follow up on all the tips it receives. However, it often receives tips related to activities in Lowell Township or Vergennes Township, which is outside the department’s jurisdiction.

Bukala also noted the Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET) takes enforcement action on tips throughout the county. For instance, Bukala knew KANET made at least one arrest in the city last month, but that is not recorded here because the Lowell Police Department did not assist with the arrest.

Assistance in Possible Drug Overdose

While the Lowell Police Department did not make any drug-related arrests last month, it did respond to a possible overdose. Officers were called to a residence where a female had fallen into a bathtub. She appeared to be under the influence of some substance. She was transported to the hospital for medical care, and used and unused needles were seized from the premises.

Juvenile Apprehended for Stealing Vehicles

A total of six vehicles were stolen from the west side of town in May and June. The vehicles were apparently taken at night for joyrides and returned before morning. However, the thief unknowingly left behind forensic evidence that was used to track him down. The suspect is a juvenile from Ionia, and he has been charged with six counts of unlawful driving away in an automobile.

Teens Stealing Items from Cars

In a separate case, the Lowell Police Department was working to solve a string of thefts from parked vehicles. The crimes were allegedly committed by three teens – one juvenile and two adults – who are charged with stealing items out of nine vehicles in the City of Lowell and Lowell Township. Evidence from the city is being used by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office to pursue charges.

See, People Will Do the Right Thing

A woman came to the Lowell Police Department and stated she had lost her diamond engagement ring. She believed it slipped off her finger while pumping gas. Apparently, another customer found the ring and told the gas station he would deliver it to the police department. However, when the women arrived to collect it, the ring had not been turned it.

It could have been a case of someone trying to pocket an expensive ring, but fortunately, this story has a happy ending. The other customer brought in the ring in the following day. The police station closed before he got off work the previous day which is why he didn’t bring it in earlier.

Wrong Way Driver Gets Charged with OWI

A vehicle was stopped at approximately 2am for going the wrong way on a one-way street. The officer could smell beer in the vehicle and found an open container of alcohol in the center console. It was three-quarters empty. The driver had a 0.16 blood alcohol content at the time of the traffic stop and was charged with operating while intoxicated, first offense.

Grass, Chickens and Other Ordinance Violations

The Lowell Police Department handled a variety of ordinance violation complaints in June. In one case, a homeowner had an excessive number of chickens and ducks on the property. Other calls were for trash stacked up outside a vacant house, overgrown grass and loud music in the early morning.

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