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Communities celebrate National Night Out August 6

Communities celebrate National Night Out August 6

National Night Out is August 6, providing community members a free and fun opportunity to meet neighbors and local police officers.

National Night Out started in1984 as a way to encourage the community to get involved in crime-prevention, sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.  Organizers often fold food and family-friendly activities into the event.  This year’s participating communities include:

Kalamazoo County

·         Kalamazoo: Arcadia Neighborhood Assoc., Arcadia School, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

·         Kalamazoo: Eastside Neighborhood Assoc., Rockwell Park, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

·         Kalamazoo: Edison Neighborhood Assoc., 816 Washington, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Embezzler who nearly put Village Market out of business punished

Embezzler who nearly put Village Market out of business punished

PORTAGE, Mich.—A former comptroller is heading to federal prison for stealing from his employer.

A judge Monday sentenced 42-year-old Christopher Earl Pratt of Portage to 87 months in prison.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Pratt abused his position as comptroller to steal from Village Market Food Centers, leading to the closure of at least three stories and 170 lay-offs.  Village Market nearly went out of business before discovering Pratt’s crimes, which took place over seven to eight years.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Pratt used the stolen money to buy and refurbish more than 40 muscle cars.  The FBI recovered many of the vehicles and turned them over to a receiver, who is trying to recover Village Market’s lost assets.

As part of his punishment, Pratt must pay more than $6.5 million in restitution.  He also faces three years’ probation when he’s released.

Police: July 4 shooting suspect considered armed and dangerous

Police: July 4 shooting suspect considered armed and dangerous

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo Public Safety offices are asking for the public’s help in tracking down a suspected gunmen.

Okoli Dion Staggers, 21, is considered armed in dangerous.  He’s wanted on an eight-count warrant for a shooting that happened the night of July 4 in the 1000 block of Hays Park Street.  Around 9:15 that night, officers found a Kalamazoo man with a gunshot wound to his leg.  Detectives say the man was walking to his front porch when he was shot. The victim is recovering. Officers do not believe he was the intended target.

Staggers faces charges of assault with intent to murder and weapons violations.  He’s 5’4” tall, weighs 130 lbs. and may have a shaved head.  Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Kalamazoo Public Safety at 337-8994 or Silent Observer at 343-2100.

Two men wounded in holiday weekend shootings

Two men wounded in holiday weekend shootings

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Kalamazoo Public Safety officers are seeking tips in two separate shootings.

Around 9:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, police were called to the 1000 block of Hays Park for a shots fired complaint.  Authorities found a 52-year-old Kalamazoo man with a gunshot wound to his leg.  The man was sitting on his porch when he was shot.  Police do not believe he was the intended target.  The man was treated at Bronson Hospital and released.

About three hours later, officers were called to a shooting near West Patterson and North Rose Street.  The victim, who had a gunshot wound to his chest, told officers he was walking in the area and did not see who shot him. The 21-year-old Kalamazoo man was taken to Bronson Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information in either of these cases is asked to call Kalamazoo Public Safety at 337-8994 or Silent Observer at 343-2100.

Meth lab likely sparked fire at Portage home

Meth lab likely sparked fire at Portage home

PORTAGE, Mich.—Public safety officers believe a methamphetamine lab may have sparked the fire that forced nearly a dozen people from a Portage home.

On June 19, police and firefighters were called to the 5500 block of Deerfield around 3:15 a.m. on reports of a fire.  When they arrived, smoke was spilling out of the home.  Investigators believe the fire started in a bedroom where someone may have been manufacturing meth.

Police confiscated several meth-making tools from the home.  So far no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call the Portage Department of Public Safety at (269) 329-4567 or Silent Observer at 343-2100.

Man sentenced for selling counterfeit razorblades at Meijer Stores

A Florida man will spend 30 months in prison for trying to sell counterfeit razorblades at Meijer Stores.

As part of his punishment, 56-year-old Jeffrey Steven Telsey also faces three years of probation and must pay $400,506.17 in restitution, as well as a $25,000 fine.  

In January 2008, Homeland Security Investigations was notified that counterfeit Gillette Mach3 razor refills were being distributed through Meijer Stores.  Homeland Security began buying up the counterfeit razorblades from Telsey, who operated JCA Enterprises.  At the same time, Meijer Stores issued a company-wide recall for the counterfeit blades.

The office of U.S.

Police release photos of store theft suspects

Police release photos of store theft suspects

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--  Michigan State Police are releasing surveillance images of four suspects who allegedly stole construction equipment from a Kalamazoo store.

Troopers say the four men walked into the Lowes store on West Main Street around 1:15 p.m. on May 24 and took approximately $1,763.10 worth of items, including lasers and drill bits.  The men were last seen leaving in silver Dodge Charger with a Florida license plate.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post at (269) 657-5551.