GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — One person was arrested and an officer was briefly hospitalized after a crash earlier this month, the Grand Rapids Police Department says.
13 ON YOUR SIDE obtained the dash cam footage from the incident on July 2. It shows the moment a stolen Kia slams into the front of a GRPD squad car head-on.
Police received a call about a stolen car in a parking lot in the 1000 block of Sherman Street SE around 7:30 a.m. Officers found two stolen Kia's in the lot.
The stolen cars drove onto Sherman in opposite directions. One Kia quickly drove east and hit a police cruiser head-on. Police say the officer attempted to avoid the collision but was unsuccessful.
The impact of the crash disabled both vehicles.
The three occupants of the stolen car ran off. The driver, a 16-year-old boy, was arrested on Logan Street SE. He was lodged at Juvenile Detention awaiting charges, police said.
The officer in the damaged cruiser was transported to a nearby hospital, where they were treated and released.
The City of Kentwood, Grand Rapids and neighboring cities in Kent County are seeing an uptick in specific Kia and Hyundai vehicle thefts.
It's a nationwide trend that has come to West Michigan seemingly in the last month.
Thieves are targeting 2012 to 2022 Kia Sportage and Optima vehicles, plus Hyundai vehicles with a standard key ignition.
After getting into the car with or without force, thieves dismantle the steering column and override the ignition system by force and then drive away.
Since May 1, Kentwood Police have had 24 cases of these particular cars stolen.
These thefts are happening mainly during the early morning hours from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.
"Typically it's a group of kids doing this or younger adults," said Sgt. Tim Wierenga with Kentwood PD. "They go around in a group targeting large parking lots where they can go through a lot of cars quickly, is my guess."
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