‘Rocket Fish’ theft thwarted

A man's attempt to impress a girl was thwarted when Mike Ver Duin spotted something fishy going on outside his business late Tuesday night. Ver Duin was outside his home and talking to a neighbor when an older-model Ford sport utility vehicle pulled up in front of his adjacent business, Ver Duins at 623 Washington Ave., about 11 p.m. Tuesday, said Lt. Joe Boyle of the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety. A man got out, opened the back of his vehicle and proceeded to lift an approximately 6-foot-tall decorated "Rocket Fish' into the back, Boyle said.
Becky Vargo
Aug 31, 2011


Ver Duin said he called 911 and started walking over to the vehicle to try to slow them down.

As Ver Duin approached the SUV, the driver realized he had been caught and put the wooden fish back on the sidewalk, Boyle said. In doing so, the man dropped some personal items out of the back of the vehicle, tried to retrieve them, then fled the scene.

Ver Duin said he was able to get a good description and a license plate number. He also retrieved one of the personal items left behind — a red top half of a fishing pole.

Boyle said police were able to make contact with the suspect — an 18-year-old Spring Lake Township man.

“He said he attempted to steal it because he wanted to impress the girl,” Boyle said.

Nothing further was done as Ver Duin declined to press charges, Boyle said.

The “Rocket Fish” was not damaged, Ver Duin said. It is one designed by Chuck Olmstead and Ron Olmstead.

Boyle said he was not aware of any other “Rocket Fish” incidents since the wooden fish started appearing on Grand Haven streets earlier this summer.


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