After this weekend’s attempted robbery, the East Grand Rapids Public Safety Department is recommending safety tips for residents and visitors.
Public Safety Director Mark Herald stressed that people should be aware of their surroundings when walking, jogging or entering their cars or homes, particularly after dark. He reminds that there is greater safety in numbers, encouraging individuals to travel in groups, rather than individually or with another companion, especially at night. Herald also suggests choosing a familiar and well-lighted path when traveling by foot and avoiding carrying large amounts of cash, camera equipment or jewelry.
Residents should lock their cars, even in their driveways or garages, and not leave valuables in plain sight. Residents should always lock their homes, too.
“If you see anything suspicious, call 9-1-1 immediately and report it as soon as you can,” Herald said. “Don’t be afraid to call. If you see something, be sure to say something – right away.
“By taking the simple steps of locking your homes and vehicles and traveling in a group when you are out at night, you immediately reduce the likelihood that you will be targeted. It’s important to be smart and aware – and to take precautions.”
Herald noted that East Grand Rapids has round-the-clock police, fire and emergency medical response. After midnight, there are multiple patrols on the road, and his officers can typically respond within minutes.
Public Safety is still looking for the person involved in Saturday’s attempted robbery, which happened shortly after midnight when a lone suspect on foot approached two adults in the 600 block of Gladstone and attempted to rob them at gunpoint. One victim was grazed by a bullet and was then treated and released from the hospital. The suspect then fled on foot.
Herald said that Public Safety is conducting an extensive investigation into the incident and has called in the Grand Rapids K-9 unit and interviewed witnesses, among other steps. East Grand Rapids Public Safety is collaborating with other police agencies. Anyone with information should contact the East Grand Rapids non-emergency number, 616.949.7010 or you can call Silent Observer, 616.774.2345.
“East Grand Rapids is an exceptionally safe place to live and work,” Herald said. “Our Public Safety officers want to work together with residents and visitors to eliminate these crimes of opportunity – and we can. Being aware of your surroundings, not walking alone late at night and taking other similar precautions will ensure we can remain an exceptionally safe.”