ROCKFORD, Mich. — The trend of car thefts in Kent County continued Thursday, the latest victim: Graff Chrysler-Dodge in Rockford. Owner Lon Keely arrived Thursday morning to find one of his showroom windows smashed in and a few cars missing.
“They breached the door with a baseball bat, they smashed the window in,” said Keely, who said the group of thieves could be seen on security camera scrambling around the dealership.
“They immediately started looking for keys, you could tell they were looking for keys,” he said. “Then you start seeing cars circling.”
What’s been troubling for sheriff’s deputies and for business owners like Keely is what’s happening after the cars are stolen.
“They’re not using the vehicles to sell the vehicles, part the vehicles, do anything like that. They’re using the vehicles to do other crimes,” said Keely.
“It’s very bad,” said Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. “This is a community wide problem that we need to get a handle on. We’ve had a murder related to car theft, we’ve had multiple B and E’s, we’ve had armed robberies, and then reckless driving where people are injured.”
KCSO says one of the cars stolen early Thursday from Graff was later used in a smash-and-grab break