Kentwood neighborhood hit by rash of car break-ins

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Kentwood police said about 20 vehicles were broken into at Leisure South Condominiums on Thursday, around 3 a.m.

Neighbors said many of the thefts occurred in garage stalls. They said thieves entered windows and possibly doors on the side of the garage stalls, and the culprits targeted unlocked vehicles.

“Well, I hope it’ll be a one-time thing. We never had it in all the years we’ve been here,” resident Gerri Shoemaker said.

The 92-year-old and her husband, Les, have lived in Leisure South for 17 years.

Late this week, they noticed something odd about their vehicle.

“We found the glove compartment was open and stuff scattered around,” she described.

Neighbors said thieves entered a garage door on the side of the building and then went vehicle-to-vehicle.

“We had about a dollars worth of change in the thing next to the seat and that was taken, our car registration and our car insurance slips,” Shoemaker said.

A resident named Sue said, “But it is kind of scary because some of us do go to work when it’s still dark out. When we walk in those garages, ya know, and what could happen really scares me.”

Police won’t say what was taken or how valuable the items were, but neighbors said the items range from a handful of change to GPS devices.

Resident Joline McCarty said,  “It’s quite pitiful in this day and age that you can’t have your car parked in the garage and, ya know, people break in and take what they want to take.”

However, neighbors remain vigilant.

Resident Mary Race said, “Keep my doors locked and if we see strangers walking around, we keep an eye on them.”

Police encourage anyone who saw something that morning to speak up. You can remain anonymous. Call Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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