Keeping Lowell Safe: Police Beat for March 2021

The Lowell Police Department had an eventful month in March. Not only did they continue to have repeated calls to a single property in town, but they also investigated break-ins at local schools and the Foreman Building at the fairgrounds.

There are more details on those cases below, but first, here’s a snapshot of department activity for March 2021:

  • 48 calls for assistance to citizens
  • 15 calls for assistance to other agencies
  • 11 traffic accidents
  • 8 verbal assaults
  • 7 total arrests
  • 7 malicious destruction of property
  • 5 breaking and entering
  • 2 larcenies
  • 2 ordinance violations
  • 1 assault

Plus, in March, the department made 59 traffic stops and issued 12 citations as a result.

Fewer Issues Reported at Problem Property

For the past two months, the Lowell Police Department has been responding to repeated complaints centered on one property in town. Officers have made multiple arrests and found stolen goods at the home which currently has unclear ownership.

In March, the number of calls to the property diminished, and the police department responded to five calls for the following incidents:

  • Suspicious situation
  • Stolen dog
  • Welfare check
  • Noise complaint
  • Suspicious vehicle

It is unclear who has legal rights to the property since the owners passed away last year. However, Police Chief Chris Hurst received a call from the mortgage company’s preservation team, and they are aware of the situation. The department has also heard the property is going into active foreclosure which may provide a means of ending the ongoing issues at the home.

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School Property Damaged in Break-ins

Three juveniles caused extensive damage when they broke into school property on three occasions in March. The affected buildings were the following:

  • Bus garage and buses
  • Cherry Creek Elementary School
  • Bushnell Elementary School

Police aren’t sure how the juveniles accessed the bus garage, but they have been able to determine how they got into the schools. In each case, the three suspects are said to have discharged fire extinguishers which caused damage to electronics and contaminated the ventilation system. Drainage grates on the roof of one building were destroyed as well.

Damage was most extensive at Bushnell Elementary School which had to close for in-person learning for several days while ductwork was cleaned. The suspects apparently had no motive other than the “adventure” of doing something they shouldn’t be doing.

Once the police receive a cost estimate of the damage, the case will be sent to the prosecutor’s office for review.

Break-in at Foreman Building

In a separate case, three different juveniles broke into the Foreman Building at the fairgrounds. This building houses Department of Public Works equipment, and the middle school-age suspects decided to drive a truck as well as take a Gator utility vehicle for a ride around the fairgrounds. The students gained access to the building using a security code.

Images from security cameras were posted to Facebook, and residents were able to identify the suspects. This case is also being turned over to the prosecutor’s office for review.

Other Police Department Updates

The Lowell Police Department received 12 new radios from Kent County that will allow them to easily reach other law enforcement officers across the state. The two-way radios have 54 channels available per zone, and there are 15 zones statewide. Each radio can also be tracked so officers calling for assistance or in distress can be easily located. Each device costs $6,000, but they were provided to the Lowell Police Department at no cost.

Four internal candidates applied for a full-time position on the force. Hurst notes he wanted to gauge each person’s practical skills so the application process included an interview, sample police report and hands-on scenario. Officer Ian Shears was selected from among the candidates for the position.

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