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Armed robbery suspect to be arraigned today

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:03 AM
bvargo@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 231

Police are also investigating the possibility that John Lee DeJong also robbed the Kountry Korners store at the intersection of Heights Ravenna and Wolf Lake roads in Fruitport Township earlier in the day, DeYoung said. Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Jim Christiansen confirmed that he was hoping to interview the suspect, sometime today, about the armed robbery that took place about 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the store located about a mile from the Muskegon County Fairgrounds.

DeJong was taken into custody less than a half-hour after he allegedly pulled a gun on the female employee at The Reef, demanding money, around 8:15 p.m. Saturday.

The Reef is located in a residential area known as Sunnyside, at the corner of West Spring Lake Road and Grand River Avenue.

Employee Lisa Green said the man had been in the store earlier in the day and had purchased beer at the time. He returned later — shortly after Green’s mother, Suzi Carr, had come to the store to share some pizza with her daughter.

Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Officer Sean Turbett said another officer in the area, Adam VanDis, spotted the vehicle about a half-mile up West Spring Lake Road and tried to pull the driver over. But the suspect’s car sped off, leading police on a chase around Ferrysburg, before heading to the north.

Chief DeYoung said the suspect vehicle reached speeds over 100 mph before it crashed.

The suspect was on Hickory Street and going into the intersection of Iroquois and Palm when he failed to make the curve, went off the road and hit a utility pole, bringing down wires across the road, before plowing to a stop in the swamp.

Turbett said the man ran into the woods in North Holiday Hills and was apprehended about 200-300 yards away by Grand Haven public safety officers Randy Poel and Joe Schulte.

The man was returned to the scene of the crash, where police read him his rights. He was then taken by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital, and later lodged in the Ottawa County Jail, DeYoung said.

The store was back open Sunday at its normal time and Sanders said operations would continue as normal.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

To see a photo gallery of the suspect's capture, click here.

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