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Cheesecake, underwear and crab legs: Michigan city sees strange 911 calls during COVID-19

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(Photo: WWMT)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WWMT) – As the COVID-19 outbreak kept police departments across West Michigan busy, officers in the Battle Creek area received a few calls that were especially out of the ordinary.

They involved cheesecake, crab legs, underwear and a walk outside.

A canned cake

According to police records, both a husband and wife in the Battle Creek area called 911 after the woman said she threw away the man’s cheesecake, worried that it could be infected with COVID-19. The man told her it was a gift from a friend, and was angry that she threw it away.

As the woman reached for her purse, the man said he was worried she was looking for her gun. They wrestled over the bag, ending when the man hit the woman in the head, she told police.

Both parties called 911, the man reportedly going into his bedroom to get an unloaded gun. He said the woman hit him in the head when he came out of the room.

The man then walked outside where a Calhoun County Sheriff deputy arrested him on domestic violence charges and being a felon in possession of a weapon. A warrant for domestic violence will be sought for his wife.

Crab legs and cuffs

Battle Creek police arrested a woman and sought a warrant for another after they reportedly stole $700 worth of crab legs from Horrocks Farm Market.

Police records said a store employee called police and told them the women placed bags of crab legs in the shopping cart before placing one of their kids on top of the bags. They then pushed the cart out of the store and took off.

Police used surveillance footage to identify one of the women. When they went to her home, a man told them she wasn’t there. Someone stopped by while officers were there, saying she came to buy crab legs. Officers told her to leave. They then found the car used during the theft, as well as the second woman involved.

She admitted to stealing the crab legs, saying the women intended to sell the legs to turn a profit. She told police she needed money and couldn’t find a job due to COVID-19. Police took the woman to jail.

Battle Creek Police Sgt. William Gensch said the department has seen an uptick in retail theft since the COVID-19 outbreak began, presumably because people are out of work.

“People are not having the same income they had before, and they need that income to provide for their families, and they might be thinking it’s more of a desperate type of situation now,” Gensch said.

Even so, Gensch said he wasn’t sure if that was the case in the crab leg theft.

“Whether that was just from somebody who is a thief or someone who is stealing from her family because she needs to, you don’t know,” he said.

Makeshift mask gone wrong

A man called police and said he’d been assaulted after another man came to his home wearing a thong over his face as a makeshift mask.

The caller reportedly taunted the man, telling him the thongs looked like those laying around his house.

The caller said the underwear-clad man returned to his home later that night, hitting him in his head, wrestling him to the ground and kicking him in the ribs.

Gensch said it appeared to be an argument over a relationship rather than a random act of violence.

Police were seeking a warrant for the alleged assaulter.

A walk to remember

Despite the above situations, Gensch said he wasn’t taken aback about the strange calls coming into police.

“I’ve been a police officer for a long time, so nothing surprises me anymore,” he said.

Still, he recalled one instance where a mother called the department, asking them to arrest her daughter for taking a walk outside.

“She wanted us to literally pick up her daughter and take her to jail and charge her, just because she felt like she shouldn’t be out walking,” he said. “You’re able to go out, you’re able to get exercise, so there’s not a lot we can do about that.”

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