Lowell Police Department: December Happenings

Even when it’s snowy and cold the Lowell Police Department (LPD) are out keeping the city safe. And in December they were also able to provide warm weather gear to 35 students through their Cold Weather Warrior program. You can still help raise funds for this year by purchasing a drink from the vending machine in the lobby of the police department. Proceeds from sales will go directly to purchasing coats, hats, gloves and more for students at the end of 2018.

Here are some of the things which kept the LPD busy during the month of December. They responded to 9 medical incidents and 12 accidents.

In early December LPD assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s office with a be on the lookout incident around 1:30am. A subject was considered suicidal. An emergency ping of the person’s cell phone was done. He was found in a parking lot within Lowell City limits. When approached he said he was finalizing a divorce and was upset but did not intend to harm himself. However, texts to a friend indicated otherwise.

In a case of debit card theft a woman went to deactivate her card while in the hospital after suspicious activity. She learned her granddaughter, who had the card in order to get groceries, used the card for several ATM withdraws. Videos of the suspect using the card in Kent and Ionia counties supported use of the card by the granddaughter. A total of almost $1,300 in charges were found. The suspect had been avoiding contact with Detective VanSolkema but later in December was found at the Kent County Jail and said she wouldn’t talk to anyone without a lawyer. The Kent County Prosecutor’s office reviewed the evidence and the suspect has been charged with a felony, illegal use of a credit card.

The stealing of an electronic tablet at Rite Aid was caught on video. The suspect, a male with a gray sweatshirt and jeans, was posted on the LPD Facebook page to help identify the man.

A company vehicle was stolen from a local business. It was recovered, in Kalamazoo, with information regarding the suspect who took the car.

A suspect with a known warrant was spotted walking along E. Main Street by an officer. The suspect was arrested without incident.

LPD responded to a shots fired complaint at a local business. The caller indicated shots were heard, then breaking glass and a green mini van and silver vehicle were involved. Upon arrival on the scene, the police saw a green mini van with the driver’s side window smashed, the glove compartment open with contents scattered around the vehicle, and spray paint on the outside of the car. It turns out the suspected shots were actually the window of the mini van breaking. “He’s mine” was painted on the side of the vehicle and a purse and wallet were stolen with $200 and a debit card in them. The HR department for the business was contacted. The victim thought a possible suspect was a former employee who was terminated. The suspect was interviewed and denied any involvement and complied to a search of his vehicle and that of his girlfriend. In the end, it turns out the female victim’s car may have been wrongly targeted in a love triangle.

A purse was stolen from a vehicle during the Christmas parade. A medical marijuana card, debit card, and cash were taken. The vehicle was unlocked at the time and no further information was obtained on a possible suspect.

An officer responded to a suspicious odor complaint in an apartment complex. A burnt marijuana smell was discovered, with the strongest odor coming from the second story of the building. A female from the apartment where the smell was the strongest was contacted. She denied use of marijuana and did not have a medical marijuana card.

A green pickup was seen driving west on Main Street before crashing into an AT&T box on the side of the road. The turfing complaint resulted in no action because a license plate ID was not taken. It seems as though crashing into the box was done on purpose as weather conditions were good at the time of the incident.

In a case of embezzlement from a vulnerable adult, a little over $4,000 was taken, over a three-month period, from a woman living in an assisted living facility by her caregiver. A patient advocate discovered the theft, which was done by the patient’s son and daughter-in-law. Rather than paying bills for the elderly woman, her son and his wife were living off her money. A search was done on the bank account to confirm the suspicious activity. Charges are currently pending.

A local business owner has received voicemail messages from an advocate of medical marijuana which threaten the business because the owner spoke out against a medical marijuana facility opening within city limits. The voicemail contained the name of the person making and threats of hurting the business have been ongoing.

City property was damaged when a driver fell asleep and drove off the road, hitting a light pole.

During an attempt to stop a vehicle, the driver increased speed. The driver eventually lost control and hit a curb, breaking an axle. The driver took off running while the passenger, the driver’s brother, remained in the car. The driver has six warrants out for arrest and was driving his girlfriend’s car while on a suspended license. A tracking dog was brought in but eventually lost the scent of the suspect. The last known address for the suspect was visited but a female at the residence denied the suspect was at the address. The suspect has still not been apprehended.

Police were dispatched to a home on the north side of the city where vehicles were reportedly coming and going from a residence. A pickup truck was loading or unloading something. Upon arrival at the address a marijuana smell was noticed. One suspect at the location has a grow license. The two individuals at the residence were cooperative and consented to a search of the home. While a grow license was presented, it was expired. The subjects were also not following medical marijuana growing procedures as growing was happening in multiple rooms which were not secure. The prosecutor’s office reviewed the case and declined charges. The grow license was also renewed.

Someone called in about a suspicious person going up to house and was described by the caller as being “high as a kite”. The suspect had a coat on but no hat or gloves while digging around in the snow while talking on a phone. An officer was able to ID the suspect via his Michigan ID. The suspect thought he was in Grand Haven. His pants kept falling down and he claimed his lost his belt. He was offered a ride to his grandmother’s house. He was given a pat down in order to be transported in a police vehicle. During the search marijuana and opiates were found, along with syringes and two large knives. The suspect was taken to jail on drug charges.

Police responded to an assault by a female on her ex-boyfriend. The male half claimed the two got into an argument and he was being dropped off at his parents’ house. He said he was kicked out of the car before arriving at the house, was hit with the open door of the vehicle and dragged on the ground a bit before being hit again. He was checked out by paramedics. The female half denied the story saying she stopped by to get personal belongings back and mentioned the male was controlling and holding on to her things. The prosecutor’s office was given evidence in the case and the male has been charged with a false report of a felony. Evidence showed the male was lying. The case is open pending the arrest of the male.

A disorderly conduct complaint was received from an apartment complex. A male was having words with the building manager after having words with a female in the complex. The manager asked the male to leave the complex. There was not enough evidence to charge the male with disorderly conduct.

While on patrol, an officer witnessed a vehicle traveling closely behind another car while flashing lights. The vehicle was also seen crossing over the yellow line several times. When pulled over, the driver, a 19-year-old male, was found to be intoxicated. The vehicle’s license plate was covered with snow and the driver became agitated. He did comply when asked to exit the vehicle and disclosed he had a loaded handgun. He did not have a license to carry the gun and didn’t explain why he had it. He was taken to jail and charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI) and carrying a concealed weapon which could have been fired while intoxicated. His blood alcohol level was .12 at the jail.

An individual received an email about an Apple watch which was purchased in Canton, Michigan under his name at Walmart. The individual did not make said purchase. The Canton Police and Walmart were contacted to the suspect could be identified when picking up the item at the store. The purchase was cancelled prior to being picked up.

LPD assisted the Kent County Sheriff’s Department with a case of a missing 52-year-old woman with a mental disability. She was found two hours later in the 11,000 block of Bennett.

Several phone calls were received from a residence about a domestic dispute. The caller kept hanging on up dispatch so it was difficult to determine what was happening prior to an officer’s arrival. Both subjects were intoxicated after drinking all night and being loud. The caller indicated a family member was to be taken up north but the male involved said no. The male suspect claimed he was a 50-year-old man and could drink in his house if he wanted to.

Information was received about a possible suicide subject on the railroad tracks. A male was using Snapchat to communicate with a female from church. The male indicated he wanted to take pills. The parents of the male were contacted and arrived on the scene taking their son into custody. The pills were taken and destroyed. The parents indicated they would take their son to counseling.

The department was called to a fight in progress on E. Main Street. The caller said people were drinking, using drugs, and fighting. Upon arrival, two females were located stumbling around outside a residence. One female kept interrupting while the officer was conducting the investigation. That female was told to go inside or be arrested for interfering. Inside the residence two clumps of hair were found. The victim declined any medical attention. The first female was arrested on assault and battery and taken to jail.

Gunshots were heard in some woods, which are adjacent to the state game area. The subjects were found 25 yards off the wood line. They said they shot a deer before dark using a muzzle loader, which was in season at the time. They were unaware they were within city limits as they were dragging the tagged deer out of the woods.

A local business manager terminated an employee. The suspect issued threatening statements to the manager. The former employee left without incident and was told not to return to the business.

LPD assisted Kent County in a possible unresponsive suicide attempt. A male was on the couch described as being “out of it” after drinking a pint of vodka with medication. He was taken to the hospital for care.

On the last day of 2017 an officer responded to a possible suicidal female. Her husband recently passed away and she wanted be with him and didn’t want to start the new year without him. She was feeling depressed and visited the cemetery daily. The female was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

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