Greenville car thief who stopped for lunch sentenced to jail

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 11:06 am on Monday, November 19, 2012

Ryan Griffee

STANTON — A Grand Rapids man who stole a car in Greenville and then stopped for lunch will be in the Montcalm County Jail until next year.

Ryan Griffee, 24, was charged with unlawfully driving away an automobile, fleeing and eluding, resisting and obstructing a police officer and being a habitual offender second offense — all felonies. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree fleeing and eluding and attempted unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Griffee was sentenced Thursday in 8th Judicial Circuit Court in Stanton to seven months jail, three years probation, $150 restitution and other costs and fees. He also will participate in Montcalm County’s Drug Court program.

The Greenville Department of Public Safety responded to a stolen vehicle report at 1:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, 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. Griffee was asking people for a ride inside Arby’s when he saw the woman park her car. While the woman was in Arby’s, Griffee 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 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 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.

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