Police and Fire reports
By Annette Christie
Purse Thief on Loose
Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbot reports that Van Buren County deputies responded to the Sister Lakes Marathon gas station, for the report of a larceny on June25 at approximately 10:00 p.m. Upon arrival deputies found that the victim had been pumping gas and then went inside of the store to purchase some items.
After leaving her vehicle, a Hispanic male that was on the opposite gas pump waited for her to enter the store and then took per purse from the vehicle, returned to his vehicle and fled the area in an unknown direction.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 30-35 years old, last seen wearing an orange hat, black t-shirt, and in the suspect vehicle described as a crossover SUV or minivan, unknown color. This incident is currently under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
Coloma Township Police activity
Coloma Township Police Officers responded to the parking lot of the McDonald’s at approximately 6:28 p.m. on June 25, 2017 for an indecent exposure complaint. A witness advised that a woman had removed her bikini top in the parking lot and was twirling around, exposing her breasts.
After conducting an investigation officers arrested a 20-year-old Jackson, Michigan woman for indecent exposure, disorderly conduct and being a minor in possession of intoxicants. The woman was lodged in the Berrien County Jail.
On June 23, at approximately 2:12 p.m., a Coloma Township officer stopped a vehicle for defective equipment on N. Paw Paw Street. The driver, a 55-year-old Dowagiac man was subsequently issued misdemeanor appearance citations for driving with a suspended license, 2nd offense and operating without insurance. The vehicle was towed from the scene.
In the month of May, Coloma Township Police Officers investigated 255 complaints. Chief Jason Roe said that the number is up about 30% from this time last year. Those complaints included 18 family/civil situations, 41 non-criminal assists, 21 suspicious situations, 10 larcenies, and 31 assists to other agencies.
The department made 10 felony arrests and 21 misdemeanor arrests. Officers made 108 traffic stops and issued 34 citations.
Over fifty guests at the Fairmont Inn /Safari Joe’s had to evacuate due to an early Tuesday morning electrical fire in the water park pump room. The Watervliet Fire Department responded and the fire was quickly brought under control. Smoke was removed using positive pressure ventilation.
The main circulation pump was identified as the initial cause; no loss estimate was available.
Guests were allowed to return to their rooms within about half an hour. One minor injury was reported as a guest stumbled and scrapped a knee while evacuating.
Warrant arrests made in Watervliet
Watervliet City Police Officer Kusmierski while on patrol on June 24 made a traffic stop at Red Arrow Hwy and Hennessey Road of the vehicle being driven by Jacob Harvath, 25. Further investigation found that Harvath had an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant for embezzlement out of the Benton Charter Township Police Department.
Harvath posted bond and was released pending his court date.
On June 23 while on patrol in Watervliet, Watervliet City Officers Johnson and Kusmierski stopped a truck for a traffic violation at Main Street and St. Joseph Avenue. The driver of the vehicle, Joseph Devonte Tyson, 25, was found to have an outstanding arrest warrant out of Berrien County for failing to appear in court. He was charged with not having a valid driver’s license and improper registration plate. He was lodged in the Berrien County Jail. His vehicle was towed from the scene. The new charge will be reviewed by the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office.
Watervliet Township police activity
For the month of May, patrols in Watervliet Charter Township resulted in the following: 14 misdemeanor arrests, 6 felony arrests, 51 traffic stops, 34 citations, assisted other agencies 15 times, 74 residential and business checks, 1 motorist assist, 43 complaints, and 10 follow ups. Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputy Guy Puffer said the Lane Automotive Car Show held on Memorial Day weekend went well. He said the additional parking provided by Orchard Hill Landfill made the parking and the traffic much easier. Puffer said, “It seemed like the largest crowd ever.”
Puffer would like to remind members of the community that if residents see something unusual in their neighborhoods, they should contact the police and let them check it out.