Greenville car thief caught at McDonald’s

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:56 am on Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ryan Griffee

GREENVILLE — A Grand Rapids man may have almost gotten away with stealing a car in Greenville — but he decided to stop for lunch first.

The Greenville Department of Public Safety responded to a stolen vehicle report at 1:10 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Arby’s on Washington Street (M-57) on the west side of Greenville.

A woman had parked her car at Arby’s, leaving the keys in the ignition, as well as her dog in the car. Ryan Griffee, 24, was allegedly asking people for a ride inside Arby’s when he saw the woman park her car. While the woman was in Arby’s, Griffee allegedly took the vehicle and drove away.

Officers were checking the area when Montcalm County Central Dispatch officials advised them that the stolen vehicle was in line at the drive-through window of the nearby McDonald’s.

Griffee allegedly saw police officers approaching and quickly drove away from McDonald’s onto Maplewood. As the police officer began to turn his patrol vehicle around, Griffee allegedly drove across five lanes of traffic on Washington Street.

Griffee ended up in the ditch on the north side of Washington Street. He maneuvered the car out of the ditch and back into the westbound lanes of Washington Street before a wheel on the car collapsed and the vehicle stopped.

Two Greenville officers were close behind Griffee and arrested him without further incident. The dog was not harmed and was reunited with its owner.

The Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office charged Griffee with unlawfully driving away an automobile, fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstructing a police officer and being a habitual offender second offense — all felonies.

Griffee was arraigned on Monday in 64B District Court in Stanton.

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