Police: Salvation Army imposter arrested for assault

Surveillance photo of the suspect in connection to a robbery on May 12 at the Woodland Mall parking lot. (Courtesy Kentwood Police Department)


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Police have arrested a man who allegedly posed as Salvation Army volunteer, forced his way into a home and assaulted a woman on Wednesday.

After receiving several tips, police arrested a 25-year-old Grand Rapids man around 1 p.m. Thursday in connection to the case.

The home invasion happened around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in a neighborhood located south of 56th Street and west of Byron Center Avenue, according to Wyoming police.

The 30-year-old woman told authorities the suspect rang the doorbell and showed a badge indicating he was collecting donations for the Salvation Army.

When the victim went to get an item to donate, police say the suspect went inside without permission and then robbed and physically assaulted her while armed with a gun.

The victim’s family told 24 Hour News 8 the suspect tried to force her to take him to an ATM.

But the victim fought back, hitting, kicking, whatever she could so to get away. She ran into the street, attracting the attention of neighbors. The suspect then took off.

The victim was treat at a hospital for unknown injuries.

Thursday, police confirmed the suspect did have a Salvation Army badge for a drug treatment program he was in, not for volunteering.

The Salvation Army says they never go door-to-door asking for donations.

Police have also determined that he is the same suspect sought for an armed robbery that took place at the Woodland Mall on May 12.

The suspect’s name is being withheld pending arraignment. He is currently being lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility.

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