Thieves break into newly opened Trufant grocery store

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 2:15 pm on Wednesday, January 04, 2012

MAPLE VALLEY TOWNSHIP — The newly opened Maple Valley Market was broken into on New Year’s weekend.

Michigan State Police Lakeview Post Trooper Ed Brinkman said the breaking and entering occurred sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning in downtown Trufant. The thieves entered through a window and stole about $3,000 worth of cigarettes and cigars, plus a laptop computer from the grocery store.

Brinkman said the suspects have been described as two white males between the ages of 17 and 19. The men were driving a black 2001 or 2002 Chevy Camaro with completely tinted windows — which is illegal — and a temporary tag on the license plate holder.

Brinkman said he will be looking at surveillance video from Independent Bank next door in the hopes of obtaining more clues.

John and Marianne Schwandt opened the store in early November. The building was formerly home to Sorensen’s and Pringle’s before sitting vacant for years.

John Schwandt said he thinks the suspects came into the store on Sunday, unlocked a window and then returned that night.

“There were a couple of guys here and they were acting a little funny,” he said. “They came into the store, went out and sat in their car, came into the store again, then went out in their car again.

“We’re trying to do something good for the community and for us because there’s really nothing around here, and then somebody goes and does something like this,” he added. “We’re installing some surveillance cameras and hopefully this won’t happen again.”

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Michigan State Police Lakeview Post at (989) 352-8444.

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