By Alena Visnovsky
Grand Rapids Community College Police received a call on March 13 around 11:30 a.m. about a breaking and entering that occurred at the Applied Technology Center. The ATC deck is currently under construction, and there was an unsecured plywood door on the Southeast side of the building.
According to police, the suspect(s) entered the ATC through this door. Additionally, a window was smashed in for entry into the Heritage Restaurant. The suspect(s) attempted to steal the TV monitors from the ceiling of the restaurant without success. The only item reported stolen from the Heritage was a pork tenderloin. A Heritage chef took inventory and realized it was missing.
The suspect(s) propped open the Heritage restaurant doors that lead into the main ATC building. They made their way to the Ferris State University office area within the ATC and smashed in the lower entry door window to the office and rifled through the office desk drawers.
A Ferris State employee who works at the ATC was on site when GRCC police arrived and she said that a key card was missing from the office. An interoffice door with a card reader was open and another door past that to a different office was open too. Police found the stolen key card on the floor. The Ferris employee confirmed that it was the missing card. Her office door window was smashed in but the door was still secured and no entry had been made.
The suspect(s) then went into the rest of the building and smashed the lower entry door to the Associate Dean of the School of Workforce Development office. Desks had been rummaged through and papers were on the ground. The only item reported stolen was gummy vitamins. They progressed to the lower level of the ATC and smashed open a glass front vending machine and stole chips and candy bars. In the second floor Student Lounge they smashed into another glass front vending machine, stole more snacks and broke the control button to another.
The suspect(s) also broke the Deli Bakery side window and entered through the door then went inside Art and Bev’s kitchen and entered an unsecured door into the safe room. The safe was pried open with a crowbar that was left at the scene. According to police, $600 was stolen from the safe. The suspect(s) left loose change in each of the four cash boxes behind.
The rest of the building was cleared at 1 p.m. with no other damage reported. There was a total of $3,120 in stolen and damaged property reported to police.
“We’ve (GRCC) had break-ins before. It’s not a frequent thing. The other ones were years ago, this is fairly new,” said GRCC Police Sgt. Jesse Heard.
Heard was the officer who was called to the scene and typed up the initial burglary report. When asked if he thought it was an inside job, he responded, “That’s unsure. That’s very unsure, it could be inside, it could be a homeless person. Unsure right now. Who knows.”
The GRCC Police Department does not have a forensics unit so they contacted the Grand Rapids police Forensics Department to assist with processing the scene. Heard said that they obtained fingerprints from one of the cabinets in the ATC and are waiting to hear back regarding those. GRCC Police were able to determine a timeline when the suspect(s) used the key card to enter the inner office. The first swipe at 5:10 a.m. and another swipe at 5:19 a.m. on the same interoffice door.
The case status is open, there are no suspect(s) or witnesses at this time. Anyone with information can call GRCC Police at 616-234-4010.