Two of three men suspected of stealing thousands of dollars of items over the past year from St. Joseph County properties were arrested following a months-long investigation.
A joint investigation by personnel from the Michigan State Police and St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department culminated with the arrests of a 39-year-old Calhoun County man and a 33-year-old man from Kalamazoo County.
Both men were arrested earlier this month, while the third suspect remains at large.
Investigators said the men were responsible for more than two dozen larcenies in St. Joseph, Calhoun and LaGrange counties. In most cases, they allegedly stole snowmobiles, tractors, log-splitters, trailers and larger items they dismantled and sold for scrap.
In addition, the trio was allegedly responsible for a rash of vehicle break-ins outside a number of manufacturing plants on Progress Street in Sturgis, police said.
A Colon husband and wife escaped serious injuries after the vehicle they were in went off the roadway and landed near the St. Joseph River.
Michigan State Police officials said a car driven by Jennifer Hargas, 31, was southbound on Farrand Road when she swerved to miss striking a deer near Blossom Road around 9:30 p.m. Thursday in Colon Township
Hargas lost control of her vehicle and drove onto an embankment along the St. Joseph River.
Neither Hargas nor her husband, Steven Hargas II, required medical assistance. She was cited for careless driving, police said.
A group of Centreville residents is voicing opposition to a sidewalk plan in their neighborhood.
Nearly two dozen residents attended this week’s Centreville Village Council meeting to voice concern over sidewalks to be built through a Safe Routes To School grant. The $416,000 to help cover the sidewalk-development cost was awarded last September.
Comments ranged from the need for the sidewalks to concern tax dollars will be used for construction. Village officials reiterated the grant will cover all expenses.
The project is now in the hands of officials from the Michigan Department of Transportation. The agency is expected to approve the village’s sidewalk plan early next month, with bids awarded by the end of June.
Construction would likely start in July, with the work done before the start of school in September.
Two area residents were involved in a car crash Monday in Lockport Township.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said Carol Sission, 77, of Constantine, was southbound on U.S. 131 when she failed to stop at the traffic signal at Wilbur Road. Her vehicle struck a car driven by 29-year-old Colon resident Amber Laclair, who had the right of way and was proceeding through the intersection.
A department media release does not indicate the extent of injuries suffered by Sisson or Laclair.
A White Pigeon woman was ticketed for being unable to stop within an assured distance following a two-vehicle accident Monday in Sturgis Township.
The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department said Tambra Bryant, 48, was cited after she swerved to avoid striking the rear of a car that had slowed on westbound U.S. 12 in front of Lake Area Veterinary Clinic.
Bryant drove onto the north shoulder of the roadway and struck the side of a vehicle turning into the vet clinic. The second vehicle was driven by 61-year-old Julie Outlaw of Sherwood.
Bryant’s vehicle continued across the yard of the vet clinic, striking a bush and concrete sign, and continued into a field west of the business.
An auction of confiscated and drug-forfeiture items by the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department grossed about $45,000 in sales Saturday.
Staged Saturday morning at the St. Joseph County fairgrounds, the auction included the sale of a Camaro Z28 for $10,000 and a trio of Harley Davidson motorcycles that sold for $11,000 collectively.
Nearly 300 people had bid cards and many made offers on tools, audio equipment, televisions, gaming consoles, sports cards and memorabilia, and a variety of other items.
Saturday’s auction was the fourth of its kind staged by the sheriff’s department.
Captain Jason Bingaman called the event a win-win situation, as many items sold for well below retail value and proceeds will go to the St. Joseph County Area Narcotics unit for undercover drug investigations.