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Man held at knifepoint among west siders concerned with crime rate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — People who live on the west side of Grand Rapids are concerned about growing crime in the area.

Residents have been posting on Facebook about their experiences with crime such as vandalism, theft and break-ins.

Earlier this week, Jeremy Hoekstra was one of many residents who posted their experience on the We are Westsiders Facebook page.

Hoekstra was in his upstairs recording studio when he turned and saw a man with a bandana, holding a knife.

"I had my headphones on, listening to some new tracks," said Hoekstra. "All of a sudden, I turned and there was a guy standing there with a knife, yelling ‘where's the money at?’"

The guy asked him specifically to locate a safe with money. However, Hoekstra explained that he didn't keep cash in the house. He ended up taking some tech gear, credit cards, his phone and other valuables.

The thief did leave behind a laptop that contained Hoekstra's tracks and professional music.

"I asked him, like ‘dude, don't take that,’" said Hoekstra. "That's my music. That's my life. That's who I am right there, and he said, 'Okay, I'll let you keep that one.'"

As the man was getting ready to leave, he made Hoekstra lie down on the ground.

"Just before he was leaving, he was like, 'I want to say something to you. I'm not going to hurt you. I'm sorry that I had to do this,’" said Hoekstra, who filed a police report shortly thereafter.

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10 comments

  • Matt

    Good luck, the African American community has stripped all power and respect from the police department. Your best bet is to move away from the zoo.

    • Unslaved

      The notion that order comes from police is why crime is out of control. Order comes from education on morality and no force in all of creation can ever change that.

      • steve

        True. The function of the police is not to create order. Its’ function is to maintain order based on laws based on morality.

      • Matt

        True but in the African American community there is a total lack of respect for any type of human life. Get rich or die tryn, drugs and booze. The way of life. You people need to work on this. Police can only mantain a since of order if allowed. They cant even stop anybody and question them with out having it videotaped and scrutinized by the media.

  • Rj

    It’s called a firearm and you had every right to use it, This is why our society continues to degrade us because people are never held accountable for their actions. This person could have been shot dead with his headphones on. When people are taken care of the rest of their lives in prison better then most of us what’s the deterrent for killing ? Nothing. The police need to start pushing back against these community organizers who are putting your life at risk.

  • A real westsider

    Why does it always have to lead back to African American or being racist?! A lot of these ppl doing the crime are not even black! So sad tht most of you think that way I’ve lived on the westside for 32 years and Most of the bs ive seen or ever occurred ended up being white mostly males and on drugs thinking there all tough but we don’t say or do anything abt that!! How many black ppl have we heard abt shooting up schools or threatening to do so? How many black ppl have we heard abt tying there children up for weeks at a time with no food? How many???? Exactly but a mfer is so quick to say oh he must of been black and Bc he is black the police can’t do anything Bc of the scrutiny they would get!!! All of you need to get a life and be happy stop pointing the finger and start actually making a difference in our community and maybe y’all would see tht it’s not always the black person!!! I think you guys are too damn scared to admit tht it’s easier for u to blame it on color, and I bet most of you don’t even live or are from the westside. I am a white women who sees ppl not color.. OPEN YOUR EYES & MAKE A DIFFERENCE STOP POINTING THE FINGER!!!!

  • A real westsider

    And where in this article does it say an African American it says a male with a bandana holding a knife never says anything abt color!!!! And the man apologizes for doing so.. so he must of been white right Bc according to most of you a black person wouldnt of said tht!! It’s 2019 anybody is capable of anything these days!! Even a 13-14 yr white kid who shoots his school up but we talk abt a “potential black person” and racism… You guys are the ones being racist here not them nor the police… give your self a pat on the back you didn’t even have to read the whole story before you assumed!! Just SAD

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