By Annette Christie
Coloma City B & E
On October 23, 2019, Coloma Charter Township Police Officers were dispatched to a belated breaking and entering at 177 Leady St. in the City of Coloma.
Upon arrival, officers learned that the house was broken into and several items of value were taken. Through an investigation and several citizen tips, officers located two subjects that were juveniles in the City of Coloma. Some of the merchandise stolen from the break-in was located. One juvenile was arrested.
Another juvenile is being sought and currently has an open warrant for his arrest. Names are being withheld due to the subjects being juveniles.
Equipment accident causes death
A 40-year-old male from the Hartford/ Bloomingdale area has died as a result of an equipment accident.
Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel E. Abbott reports that on November 12, 2019, deputies were dispatched to a commercial business property in the 51000 block of 28th Avenue for a report of a male subject who had been pinned by a skid steer.
The victim had been using the skid steer to move snow on the property. He had completed the job and was working under the bucket area of the skid steer to clean out the snow near the pedals when the bucket that had been raised, lowered down on him where he was fatally pinned.
Upon arrival rescue personnel found that the victim had already been freed from the skid steer by co-workers, however, he succumbed to his injuries on scene. The incident is not believed to be suspicious in nature and is accidental; however, this incident remains under investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to please contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 269-657-3101.
MSP gives holiday tips
With the holidays quickly approaching, the Michigan State Police wants to remind everyone that this is the time of year to look out for fraud. Between parties, gift giving and travel, it’s easy to let your guard down. Here are some simple tips to follow so that you will not be taken advantage of by a would-be scammer.
Never give out personal information to someone over the phone or online that you do not know. Vary your passwords and change them frequently. Gift card fraud: make sure the card has not been tampered with and try buying gift cards from behind the counter or directly from the retailer.
If you are going to be receiving packages via mail try considering requiring a signature for delivery or, have the package sent to your work if you are unable to be home. You also might consider investing in a motion-sensing security camera to deter thieves or to catch them in the action. In 2018, 26 million Americans reported having holiday packages stolen from their residence.
Be on the lookout for fake charities. Indicators may be aggressive sales pitches or high-pressure tactics that sound identical to established charities. When in doubt, ask them to send you via U.S. mail a donation form to fill out instead of giving them credit card information over the phone.
Download the app for your credit card to your phone and have it alert you to every purchase. You will then be notified immediately if there are any fraudulent purchases made on your credit card.
“Online pricing” too good to be true: Scammers often set up dummy websites to lure you into “buying” their products instead of from the online retailer. Some will send you fake products while others will just take your money.
Never answer online survey questions/ “phishing emails”. Survey questions that “need” your personal bank account information or Social Security numbers are most likely fraudulent.
The number one rule when in doubt is to never give out personal information.
TV crime show to feature murder by Spagnola
A new television crime drama that made its debut this fall will feature a crime that occurred close to home. “The Truth About Murder” is on the Investigation Discovery channel and the November 19 episode will feature the 2000 murder of Lisa Fein.
Fein, 33, was taken from her home in Galien Township by a man in a snowmobile helmet. She was abducted in the presence of her then 11-year-old son and another boy. Two days later, in a shallow grave, her body was found.
It took two years of investigation before the father of her son, Frank Spagnola of Coloma, was charged with first degree murder. He was convicted of that charged in 2003, and is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole as Offender #459889.
Court records confirm that Fein and Spagnola fought for years over custody and other matters with regard to their son. On the day that she was murdered, Spagnola was ordered by the Court to pay her more than $14,000 in back child support out of his retirement account.
Spagnola has appealed his conviction, however, it was denied. The episode, hosted by Sunny Hostein, a former Federal Prosecutor, now a victims’ rights advocate, will feature interviews with local law enforcement, family and friends.