In May, the Lowell Police Department received 191 calls for service. These included the following, among others:
- 32 calls for assistance including medical calls and assists to other agencies
- 7 larceny or retail fraud calls
- 7 car accidents
- 6 total arrests
- 1 arrest of operating while intoxicated
- 1 drug-related arrest
And here’s a look at a few of these May cases.
Can’t Hide in the Neighborhood
While running radar on North Hudson Street, an officer observed a car tailgating another vehicle. When the officer pulled in back of the vehicle and activated his lights, the female driver quickly turned into the adjoining neighborhood and parked in a driveway. She was intercepted and found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.19. Anything over 0.08 is considered drunk driving. She was arrested and lodged for operating while intoxicated, high BAC.
School Threat on Social Media
Students reported a threat to Lowell Middle School made over social media. The report came in on the afternoon of May 14 that an image was posted on Instagram showing the date May 15, 2019 and “LMS” next to a gun. The caption on the photo referenced plans for a school shooting.
As officers began to investigate, the Instagram account was quickly deleted. However, police were able to obtain a search warrant for information on its creation. By 11pm on the 14th, they were able to determine the Instagram account was a fake account created in the name of another student without that student’s knowledge.
The IP address used to create the account led police to the internet provider HughesNet. That company turned over the accountholder information, and police traced the owner back to a house in Lowell. Police visited the home, and a juvenile there confessed to creating the account and posting the image. The case has been turned over to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office and will be handed by Juvenile Court.
Lending a Hand to the State Police
Lowell Police Department was asked to help the Michigan State Police in apprehending a driver who had fled from a traffic stop. A trooper from the Michigan State Police Ionia Post had pulled over a vehicle in the early morning hours. As the trooper approached the vehicle, the driver took off in what resulted in a brief high speed chase exceeding speeds of 100 mph. The chase was discontinued, but the police had the license plate number which led to a home in Lowell and a visit from Sgt. Hurst.
Animals on the Loose
Sgt. Hurst was called upon to help the Kent County Sherriff’s Department during May as well. A horse was roaming the area of 28th Street and Pratt Lake Avenue in Lowell Township, and Sgt. Hurst gamely agreed to round it up. The horse wandered into a neighbor’s yard, and that homeowner recognized the horse and knew where she lived. The owner, an elderly woman, had no way to transport the horse so Sgt. Hurst walked it the approximately half mile home.
The horse wasn’t the only animal to get loose last month either. Three goats went on the lam along Grand River Drive. When the police arrived, the goats jumped on their vehicle before they were successfully corralled and the owner located.
West Michigan Crime Spree Comes to Lowell
A local drugstore reported a man stole nearly $300 worth of 5-Hour Energy drinks. Surveillance images of the suspect were posted on Facebook, and police shared information with law enforcement officials from other communities.
A similar incident apparently occurred at a drugstore in Lowell Township, and an officer from Grand Haven called to say that this suspect was believed to be involved in a string of thefts throughout West Michigan and northern Indiana. An officer from Muskegon Township also called to say that his department had the suspect in custody. Apparently, when he was arrested, his vehicle was found to be filled with 5-Hour Energy drinks and cologne.
Lock Your Cars
Police Chief Steve Bukala reminds residents to remove their keys from vehicles and lock their cars at night. There was a rash of reports in May about vehicles being taken from driveways for joyrides in the middle of the night.
In one case, a man woke up at 3:30am to go to work and found his truck missing. While the officer was taking the report from the owner, the truck in question drove by. The suspect abandoned the vehicle a short distance away, but the officer could not locate him. A K-9 unit was called in but was unsuccessful in tracking the thief.
Accreditation Process Proceeding
The Lowell Police Department is about three months into a two year accreditation process. While not required at this time, Bukala believes all departments will eventually need to complete the Michigan Law Enforcement Accreditation Program administered through the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. Even if it doesn’t become mandatory, accreditation ensures the department is operating at a high level of professionalism and is fully prepared to meet the needs of the community. If all goes well, Bukala hopes to finish the process by February 2021 or earlier.