Man steals GRPD cruiser during assault investigation

Angela Cunningham tells us how an assault investigation on the city's southeast side led to a police car being stolen.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Investigators from the Grand Rapids Police Department are looking for a man they say stole a police cruiser during an emergency call late Tuesday night, Oct. 4, 2016.

Around 9:03 p.m. police were called out to Benjamin Avenue between Hall and Boston streets on reports of a man down who had been attacked.

When they arrived they found a man laying near an alley suffering from wounds to his upper body. He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

While one officer was helping that man, police say another man jumped into the officer's vehicle, which still had the keys inside, and took off.

Sgt. Terry Dixon says it is not standard protocol to leave keys in a vehicle while on the scene, but that this was a serious incident.

"We had a man down, and this officer got out to render aid and left the key in the vehicle," he said.

The man who stole the cruiser parked and got out near the corner of Alexander Street and Fuller Avenue and walked away. Police say he was last seen heading southeast. Investigators found the cruiser using GPS.

As of now, the man who stole the police cruiser is not in custody. But police say it shouldn't be "but a matter of time" before he's found. Officers say they have images of him, he incoherently mumbled something to an officer, and they've had contact with him before.

Reporters at a news conference early Wednesday morning questioned Dixon about the potential safety hazards of a police cruiser being stolen, specifically in regards to weapons stored in the vehicle.

"Those were a very serious concern for us, obviously, because we do have weaponry in there and other pieces of equipment. But they are secured. You can't just go in there and grab it."

Police do not have any information to report involving the description of the assault suspect.

Anyone who may have additional information about either incident is requested to call (616) 456-3400 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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