HOWARD CITY — A man on parole from prison was arrested after allegedly stealing and damaging a snowmobile and then trying to steal another one in Howard City and Cedar Springs.
The Howard City Police Department responded to a reported larceny at Village Trails at 10:45 a.m. Monday.
A resident went outside to find someone had removed his Ski Doo snowmobile from a trailer and attempted to hotwire the ignition to steal it. However, the theft was unsuccessful. The victim’s vehicle was also broken into and a snowmobile helmet and gloves had been stolen.
Officers tracked the suspect in the snow. The suspect apparently tried to enter a shed and prowled around in the area and backyards of other residences.
Officers located an abandoned snowmobile on the nearby White Pine Trail. The 2007 Arctic Cat was heavily damaged. The snowmobile was registered to a Cedar Springs resident who was not aware of its theft until the Kent County Sheriff’s Department made contact with them on behalf of the Howard City Police Department.
Howard City police developed information on two suspects after canvassing the area, gathering evidence and hearing from witnesses who had information on two suspicious subjects observed that same morning. A security video from a nearby business was reviewed and the suspects were observed on it.
This information was provided to the Cedar Springs Police Department, which supplied the name of a possible suspect from the description. Howard City police reviewed the subject’s prior arrest photo and made a positive Identification of the same man on the security video.
The man, Nicholas Spoors, 21, of Cedar Springs, was located by the Cedar Springs Police Department later that evening. Spoors is an escapee from prison parole as he had cut off his tether days earlier. Stolen property from Howard City and Cedar Springs were recovered from the residence.
Howard City police and Kent County Sheriff’s deputies located a second suspect hiding under a bed in the Cedar Springs residence. That man claimed no knowledge of the snowmobile thefts.
Two men had apparently ridden the stolen snowmobile to Howard City, where it broke down. One of the men then attempted to steal another snowmobile to flee the area, but was unsuccessful.
Spoors was arrested and charged in Kent County with the larceny of the snowmobile, being an habitual offender and breaking and entering a building in Cedar Springs. Arrest warrants were obtained in Montcalm County as well, charging Spoors with attempted larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny from a motor vehicle, being a habitual offender and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He has not yet been arraigned in Montcalm County.
“The successful investigation and arrest of the suspect was a direct result of the multi-departmental investigation,” said Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt. “The call from a concerned citizen to the police of their observations of suspicious persons and activity was instrumental to the investigation.”
DeWitt reminded residents to keep their vehicles, homes and storage buildings locked at all times and to report suspicious people and activity to local police.
“Many times it’s the smallest bit of information that leads to the arrest of criminals and recovery of stolen property,” he said. “Law enforcement is a community activity that relies heavily on the participation of the average person.”