03-22-2018 Police & Fire Reports

Police and  Fire Reports By Annette Christie Chief says the search will continue for man missing in Paw Paw River

Watervliet Fire Chief Dan Jones said the search for a Niles man who went missing in the Paw Paw River on February 27, will continue. Efforts by multiple emergency services agencies have turned up empty as they continue the search for Cory Wright, 35. Wright was kayaking in the area with two other men when they hit a log and flipped over. One of the men re-surfaced but he did not. They were in the water while the levels of the river were still very high from widespread flooding. In addition, the water still has quite a current. Jones said they are playing with Mother Nature seeking a change in the temperature of the water which is 34-38 degrees. The condition of the river with much debris is leading them to believe that the man may be hung up on something in the water. The river with its debris, current, and temperature demands caution in the search to reduce any injury or risk to the searchers. Jones estimates that the department has spent about 800 hours in the search, not including his time. They are still being assisted by various agencies through the state.

Nationwide hunt for fraud duo ends in Michigan

On March 15, 2018 at 2:34 a.m. St. Joseph Township Police Officers were dispatched to the United Federal Credit Union Training Center on Cleveland Avenue in reference to an incident involving the ATM Machine. Upon arrival officers located and apprehended two suspects who had unsuccessfully attempted to fraudulently receive funds from the ATM. The investigation revealed that the male suspects, both from Venezuela, were involved in these types of incidents nationwide. The suspects are currently lodged in the Berrien County Jail under numerous State charges. The investigation continues as multiple law enforcement agencies work together on this case. The St. Joseph Charter Township Police were assisted by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Lincoln Township Police, St. Joseph Department of Public Safety and the St. Joseph Office of the FBI.

Mail theft leading to identify theft

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office has recently responded to several reports of identity theft that have been traced back to thefts of mail from the victim’s mailboxes. Citizens are asked to please report any suspicious persons or vehicles that may stop at a mailbox and is not a U.S. Postal vehicle. U.S. Postal vehicles will be clearly marked. Citizens should pick up mail frequently and should not leave letters containing payments in mailboxes overnight. If people are expecting checks, credit cards or other negotiable items they should ask a trusted friend or neighbor to pick up their mail. High school threat lands teen in juvenile center Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott reports on March 18, 2018 deputies, working in conjunction with the Paw Paw Village Police Department, investigated a threat that was directed toward Paw Paw High School. During the investigation it was determined that a credible threat was made by the suspect, a 15-year-old Paw Paw High School student. Officials notified Paw Paw Public School Administration of the threat. A safety search of the school was conducted and determined safe. Investigators have determined there is no ongoing threat at this time. A search warrant of the residence was conducted by investigators where police seized guns and other evidence. The juvenile was lodged on multiple charges at the Allegan County Juvenile Center. Pending arraignment further details of the charges will be released.

Watervliet Township Police Activity

The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office that patrols in Watervliet Charter Township made 12 misdemeanor arrests and two felony arrests in the month of February. Deputies Puffer and Goff made 47 traffic stops and wrote 26 citations. They assisted other agencies on nine incidents and performed 97 building checks. The two had 37 original complaints and made 12 follow-ups.

North Berrien Fire Incident Report

The North Berrien Fire Rescue Department responded to 15 calls in February with four calls in Hagar Township, two calls in Coloma Township, two calls in Coloma City, four calls on highways I-94 and I-196. The department had three mutual aid calls with one being for Covert Fire Department and two being for Watervliet Fire Department. Chief Michael Mattix reports that the first North Berrien Fire Rescue Trivia Night was held on Saturday, March 3, 2018. They had four teams participate. They were able to raise $2,000.00 toward the goal of purchasing three new Thermal Imaging Cameras and can now make this important purchase to help the department to better protect their citizens. Mattix said they would like to thank their generous sponsors and participants including the following: Centsible Heating & Air Conditioning; Duffield & Pastrick Family Funeral Home; Coloma Home Town Florist; Color Street – Deb DeLaTorre, Stylist; Orchard Hill Landfill; Coloma Motor Sports; DiMaggio’s Pizza and Burgers; Lions International Coloma Chapter; Forker’s Commercial Roof Maintenance; Lupke Rice Insurance & Financial Services; Big C Lumber; Top Notch Physiques; J & H Mobile Home Moving Service; Modern Antique Firearms; Jack’s Excavating & Trucking; K & R Home Services; Cool Tan; Moses Fire Equipment; Cutting Corners; Escape Salon & Day Spa; ABC Truck Repair; The New Super Book; Sgt. Anthony & Becca Thar; Rex “Jimbo” Hennen; Zac & Kate Pierce.