Police seek help after wanted fugitive spotted in downtown Niles

Published 12:45 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022

NILES — The Niles Police Department is asking the public to share any information they have regarding a wanted fugitive last seen in downtown Niles over the weekend.

According to Niles Public Safety Director Jim Millin, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department received a tip Sunday that Jorge Ortiz Crowder – a wanted fugitive from Indiana – was staying in a stolen trailer in downtown Niles. A hispanic man with a tattoo-covered face, Crowder, 35, is wanted for a nationwide, extraditable parole violation warrant.

The police then searched the area and located the stolen trailer, along with a stolen vehicle, in the Life in Balance/Coldwell Banker parking lot, 20 N. 2nd St. 

After announcing their presence and hearing no response from inside, officers launched gas rounds into the trailer. While officers did not find Crowder in the trailer upon entering, Millin said that witnesses did see Crowder at the trailer the evening prior and that he may still be in the Niles area staying with someone.

“He was in the area,” Millin said. “Whether he still is or not, we don’t know, but it’s certainly possible.”

Millin encouraged anyone with information regarding this incident to call the Niles Police Department at (269) 683-1313.