Police: ‘Newport Bandits’ arrested

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A group of thieves known as the “Newport Bandits” — who may be responsible for more than 100 burglaries — has been caught, police say.

Christopher Richardson, Michael Williams, Deandre Richardson and Andrew Powell face charges of breaking and entering a building with intent to commit a crime.

They were arrested after a traffic stop in Livingston County, during which officers said they found stolen narcotics, gloves, masks and a yellow crow bar.

Police say the group based out of Detroit may be responsible for more than 100 burglaries across the state since October 2013. The thieves initially stole from pharmacies and cellphone stores, but then expanded to pet stores and tobacco stores, police say.

On Aug. 3, Grand Rapids police say, the band of thieves burglarized the GVHP-Beckwith Pharmacy in the Surgical Diagnostic Center building on Leonard Street NW in Grand Rapids.

They apparently hid in the building until it closed, then stole more than $16,000 in narcotics, as well as an unknown amount of cash from a bank safety deposit bag and an empty safe.

They broke out a window to leave, and left behind a yellow crow bar on the shelves they had cleared, police say.

The group is also believed to be responsible for several other break-ins in Grand Rapids. In many of those, the thieves stole Newport cigarettes, which caused some to refer to them as the Newport Bandits.

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