GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A Grand Rapids ceramics studio continues to pick up the pieces after a stolen car crashed through the front door.
It was a shock in the middle of the night. The owners of Grand Rapids Pottery say that on August 18, someone stole a Kia down Colfax Street NE near the studio. Just after 3am, the driver rammed the car 15 meters into the building, smashing the garage door and destroying dozens of specially designed pots.
“Senseless destruction,” studio co-owner Jaimie Hagerman told News 8 on Wednesday.
“It’s a little unbelievable,” she continued. “This is a short residential street. How can he get that much speed to get through our door?”
Police woke Hagerman shortly after the crash to tell her the news.
“I hung up on the Grand Rapids Police Department twice because I didn’t know why they were calling me,” she said.
More and more people are getting similar calls. Kia and Hyundai thefts continue to rise in Kent County. It’s a trend popularized by a TikTok video that teaches people to steal cars using just a screwdriver and a USB charging cable.
Since May 1 in Grand Rapids, there have been about 500 thefts or attempted thefts of Kias and Hyundais, according to GRPD. The Kent County Sheriff’s Office has also dealt with more than 100 stolen Kias and Hyundais so far this year.
GRPD has not reported any arrests in the pottery building crash. Video taken by a neighbor shows two people getting out of the car and running away.
“I think we’re all very happy that no one was hurt and no one was in the building,” Hagerman said.
The studio, located between downtown and the Creston neighborhood, has 45 members dedicated to the art of ceramics.
“These are just fantastic people to work with,” Hagerman said.
They only rent the building, so the property owners are taking care of the damage and handling the insurance. The only cost to the studio is expected to be the broken pottery, Hagerman said.
Crews were at the building Wednesday to erect a barrier in place of the garage door. It’s unclear exactly how much it will cost to fix the damage, but it’s expected to be in the thousands.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Hagerman said. “But again, it shouldn’t have happened. “Because it’s a safe little neighborhood, right?”