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Thieves target unlocked homes in 24 Ottawa Co. break-ins | News

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Thieves target unlocked homes in 24 Ottawa Co. break-ins

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- This time of year should be Old Saint Nick's time to shine. However, thieves are stealing some of the spotlight in Holland Township.

Homes in a subdivision near Riley and 120th Avenue were targeted in break-ins over the past week.

"You got these people that just take the fun right away from it," said neighbor Jordan Meyer.

And on Butternut Avenue, too, thieves recently stole Christmas gifts.

"Somebody broke in while I was at work and stole a PS3," said Rhonda Tucker, adding thieves broke into her home just a few days before they targeted her neighbor's home early Monday morning. "Especially to find out they went in someone's house while they were home asleep --that's very scary."

Then, investigators say the suspects stole cell phones, as well as a car later found abandoned.

"(It's) just a recipe for disaster as it relates to a confrontation," said Captain Mark Bennett with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Two teens, a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old, were arrested Tuesday. The day before, 21-year-old Darryl Broadnax was charged for breaking into homes in Allendale near Grand Valley State University.

"It's safe to say the Allendale incidents and the Holland Township incidents are separate," said Captain Bennett.

However, investigators say there is one similar theme among each of the two dozen home break-ins over the past month.

"None of these incidents have occurred where somebody has actually forced their way in; they've all found unlocked doors," Captain Bennett said. He's reminding people to lock doors, leave lights on, and look out for anything suspicious.

"We're not going to let situations like this hamper our Christmas spirit," said one man whose neighborhood was hit.

Investigators say they're still looking into whether the two Holland Township cases are related.