Larcenies at Cedar Springs war memorial, Skinner Field investigated

Part of memorial to fallen national guardsman stolen

Cedar Springs, Spc. Timothy Brown, memorial, vandalized
The memorial to Spc. Timothy Brown in Cedar Springs before (right) and after (left) it was vandalized. (Oct. 24, 2016)


CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — Police are asking for the public’s help to find a suspect or suspects after parts of monument dedicated to a fallen soldier were stolen in Cedar Springs — in addition to a rash of other larcenies in the area.

Someone stole a replica rifle, dog tags and helmet from the Army National Guard Spc. Timothy D. Brown Monument at the city’s Memorial Park, leaving only a pair of replica boots behind, according to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.

“My heart was broken that somebody would be that cruel,” Brown’s mother, Cindy Brown, said. “This is not just honoring our son. It’s honoring all the fallen. And it just- it broke my heart.”

Cedar Springs, Spc. Timothy Brown, memorial, vandalized
The memorial to Spc. Timothy Brown in Cedar Springs before (right) and after (left) it was vandalized. (Oct. 24, 2016)

The monument was erected after the city raised approximately $10,000 in honor of her son, a Cedar Springs graduate. In November 2005, he was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Iraq. He was 23.

“He was a very funny kid. He had a smile that could light up a room. I miss everything about him,” Brown said.

Monday, she issued a plea to the thieves who vandalized the memorial, asking them to bring back the stolen pieces.

“It means a lot,” she said. “If they could bring it back, I wouldn’t even want to press charges.”

Sheriff’s authorities also said several people vandalized a concession stand at Skinner Field late Thursday night or early Friday morning,  after breaking and entering the property. Several items were stolen during the incident, which was caught on surveillance video.

Additionally, the sheriff’s department reported a number of larcenies from unlocked vehicles in the community. It’s believed that the suspects captured on video in the Skinner Field incident are behind a number of the larcenies.

“We are not for certain that these are related incidents,” Sgt. Jason Kelley said. “But due to proximity there is a chance the same suspects are responsible for the other.”

Anyone with information should call Silent Observer at 616.774.2345. A reward is being offered if information leads to the conviction of a suspect or suspects.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department also offered the following reminders:

  • Always lock vehicles and never leave anything valuable inside, like purses or electronics.
  • If you see something suspicious, always call police at 911 or 616.632.6100.
  • Keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, especially after dark.