It’s been nearly a year since four West Michigan fugitives were caught in Canon City Colorado after evading capture in Michigan.
The group lead local authorities and US Marshals on a chase that stretched through Lake County, MI, Allegan County, MI, Kokomo, IN, Iowa and finally, Canon City, CO.
The chase began in late September of 2012 when the two men, Kenneth Grauman the second and Greg Bradshaw escaped from a correctional facility.
They then met up with their girlfriends, Brittany Rector and Laura Grauman.
When authorities caught up with them, they led them on a number of high speed chases through the air and on the ground while breaking into homes and cars in West Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Colorado.
The group was accused of stealing food, weapons, clothing and cars along the way.
They were captured in Canon City after being tracked there by a number of different agencies, including US Marshals.
They were arrested during a sting operation at a hotel where they admitted they had been cooking and using meth.
Kenneth’s girlfriend, Brittany Rector, was released from juvenile detention soon after her arrest in Colorado.
She talked to us about her meth addiction after returning to Allegan County to face charges locally.
“I think over time it got worse and I wanted it more in a bigger quantity, it felt like over time, that’s all I cared about,” said Brittany.
A year later, only the men remain in prison in Colorado.
Kenneth Grauman the second and Gregory Bradshaw were sentenced to 18 years after making a plea in Fremont County, CO.
They have a release date listed of 2030.
Court records indicate that Brittany was sentenced in July, 2013, to 12 months in the Allegan County jail for home invasion and breaking and entering.
Jail officials say she was released on October, 6, 2013.
Bradshaw’s girlfriend, Laura Grauman, served time in Colorado for a drug offense and for receiving a stolen car.
Back in Allegan County, clerks say she received a sentence of 250 days in jail for her role in a home invasion and breaking and entering.
Allegan County Jail employees say she was released on October, 5, 2013.
A year later, we reflected back on some of the lessons learned from the chase with Captain Frank Baker of the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department.
“They did elude us and it hurts our pride I guess and we want to be able to, whenever we are involved in something like that, always ensure we get the person we’re looking for,” said Baker.He said better communication among multiple agencies was the biggest issue.”There’s always some of the inherent issues you have when you are working with multiple jurisdictions,” said Baker. “Communications, things like that. People are on different radio systems. People have different ways of communicating and not having cell phone numbers for all the individuals involved. Not being on the same radio system. Those types of problems always seem to rise when we have an event like that and just learning to deal with those and being able to better share our information resources is always helpful to us.”He also said the fugitives brought the community’s attention to how meth use can change a person and their decisions so drastically.”Obviously people could see what type of logic they use in making decisions to run from the police, to drive vehicles in a way which people could be obviously injured or killed, the desperate means that they go to in order to avoid escape,” said Baker. “So, I think that brought that to the forefront. They had an opportunity to see what these individuals are involved in doing.”
As for the cost, Baker said that it was estimated that 145 hours of overtime were used in searching for the fugitives.
He said that cost taxpayers a total of around $4,100.
The Lake County prosecutor said the men could eventually face escaped charges there when they are done with their sentences in Colorado.
Charges could also be filed for crimes in counties in Indiana and Iowa.