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My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With spring break fast approaching, many West Michigan families are fine-tuning their travel plans—and so are thieves.

Most West Michigan schools will be out of session April 3-10, so families can take a vacation.  East Grand Rapids Public Safety Director Mark Herald says this is the time homeowners need to step up safety measures.  Herald shares seven ways to make your home less attractive to thieves:

My Town: West Michigan's safest and most dangerous places

My Town: West Michigan's safest and most dangerous places

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Michigan is home to one of the safest cities in Michigan, according to a new analysis by Value Penguin.

East Grand Rapids ranked fifth among midsize cities and 16th overall.  Value Penguin based its rankings on FBI crime statistics collected in 2013.  The group excluded towns with populations less than 5,000. Value Penguin then compared crimes in the remaining cities per capita, giving more weight to violent crimes than property crimes. 

The West Michigan communities that came in above the state average for crimes included Spring Lake-Ferrysburg (No. 28), Rockford (No. 45), Zeeland (No. 56), Belding (No. 80) and Grand Haven (No. 118).

My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

KENTWOOD, Mich.—As the busiest shopping day of the year approaches, police are offering 10 ways to protect yourself and your vehicle from thieves.

 

Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.) works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to track down suspected car thieves and those suspected of auto theft-related insurance fraud.    Shoppers are encouraged to follow these tips:

My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich.—West Michigan is home to three of the 10 most dangerous places in the state, according to Movoto Real Estate.

The company based its rankings on cities with populations of 10,000 or more that also ranked high in murder, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes, based on the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report.  Flint topped the list, followed by Benton Harbor, Detroit, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Harper Woods, Inkster, Flint Township, Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids came in at No. 16, Holland ranked 26th,  Walker took 32nd place, Grandville ranked 41st, Norton Shores landed at No. 42, Kalamazoo Township was 45th and Grand Haven came in at No. 50 among the 102 qualified communities.  To see the entire list, visit Movoto’s website here.

My Town: Potentially costly spoofing scam spreads to Kent County

My Town: Potentially costly spoofing scam spreads to Kent County

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The sheriff department is warning residents about a scam that’s made its way into Kent County.

On June 16, a resident contacted the sheriff department to report a suspicious phone call.  The suspect masked their phone number so it appeared the phone call was coming from the Kent County Sheriff Department.  The predator told the victim the Kent County Sheriff Department had a warrant out for their arrest and they needed to pay hundreds of dollars to take care of the warrant.  The scammer also used an actual sheriff department employee’s name.  Fortunately, the victim thought the call was suspicious and contacted deputies.

My Town: False tax filing leads to possible prison and fines for Grandville man

My Town: False tax filing leads to possible prison and fines for Grandville man

GRANDVILLE, Mich.—A former Grandville man is facing possible prison time and a steep fine for filing a false tax return.

Jeffrey Richter recently pleaded guilty to filing a false federal income tax for 2007.  According to court records, Richter underreported his income by more than $253,000 that year.  The U.S. Attorney General’s Office says Richter continued to falsify tax information, underreporting his income by nearly $1 million between 2007 and 2011.  Richter owes approximately $372,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. 

Richter faces up to three years in prison and must pay overdue taxes and a fine of up to $250,000 when he’s sentenced Sept. 10.

Three arrested for as many as 20 break-ins around county

Three arrested for as many as 20 break-ins around county

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Three people have been arrested for as many as 20 business break-ins around West Michigan.

 

The Westland Police Department arrested a person during an in-progress business break-in on May 4. Detectives with Kent County and Wyoming investigated that the suspect was involved in break-ins in Kent County. They were able to identify a second suspect from Wyoming in the break-ins, and later a third suspect from Canton, Michigan.

 

Kent County deputies say that the three have admitted to eight break-ins in Algoma Township, Plainfield Township, and Gaines Township and approximately 12 others in Grandville and Wyoming. The break-ins occurred overnight on March 22-23 and April 25-26.

 

Deputies say that two of the three are currently on parole and all three have a drug habit.

 

More charges over multiple jurisdictions are expected in the next week.