High-end booze thefts at Rite Aid, Meijer stores bring felony charges

LOWELL, MICH. - A career criminal is back behind bars, accused of stealing thousands of dollars in high-end liquor at area Meijer stores which police say he traded for drugs.

Jeremy Ryan Rector, 39, is charged with stealing alcohol between March 19 and April 11 at the Rite Aid, 1401 W. Main St. in Lowell and at six Meijer stores, including in Rockford, Lowell, Ionia and Grand Rapids.

“He would just walk out,’’ Lowell Police Det. Gordy Lauren said. “The alarms would go off and he kept on going. We have reason to believe he was trading the alcohol for drugs.’’

He targeted bottles of liquor priced between $100 and $150, including Patron liquor, Lauren said.

Rector was ordered to stand trial following an appearance in 63rd District Court. First-degree retail fraud involves the theft of more than $1,000 in merchandise. The felony offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Rector also faces retail fraud charges in Wyoming and in Walker, where police say he stole high-end cologne.

He’s seen in video at the Lowell Rite Aid and in video from Meijer “taking alcohol, putting it in his jacket and walking out of the store,’’ Lauren wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

The thefts occurred within weeks of his release from Kent County Jail on a 2015 conviction for false pretenses over $1,000.

Rector, who lives in Northeast Grand Rapids, has 17 convictions for various financial crimes across West Michigan. Ten of the convictions are for passing and trying to pass bad checks in Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Ionia counties.

Rector has been in and out of jail multiple times since 2000 and has three convictions for fleeing police.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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