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Police investigate burglaries

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Last Friday morning, April 19, the Yellow Springs Police Department issued a Hyper Reach alert to all village residents, informing villagers of a rash of burglaries that have occurred in the village with increasing frequency over the past four months. The alert, a digital voice recorded phone call, urged residents to lock their windows and doors as a matter of precaution against what appears to be a series of daytime thefts and attempted break-ins.

According to Yellow Springs Police Chief Anthony Pettiford this week, police are investigating “a person of interest,” and will continue to investigate the reports, which appear to be related. According to police reports over the past month, several witnesses have noticed suspicious persons in their neighborhoods and reported the incidents to police. Some of the reports have matched the information police have about the suspect, which has helped them to build a case. Pettiford urges residents to continue to report any suspicious activity they see in the village.

“If you see something, say something,” he said. “Even if you’re not sure, go ahead and give us a call. You never know what’s going to turn up.”

Seven burglaries and two attempted break-ins have occurred in the village since January, according to Pettiford. All have occurred during the daytime while residents were away from their homes. And most of the incidents have involved homes with easy access, where the suspect gained entry through open doors and windows or by cutting screens to unlatch the doors. There haven’t been any broken windows or signs of major forced entry, Pettiford said.

And in all cases, except one, where a television was taken, the suspect has taken only jewelry, presumably to pawn for cash, Pettiford said. Police have been checking pawn shops in the area, but have found nothing yet from Yellow Springs, he said.

The first burglary occurred on Jan. 28 at a West South College Street address, followed by a break-in on Feb. 27 at a Kenneth Hamilton Way address. On March 25 a West Center College Street resident reported a theft, followed by two similar reports on April 10 and 11, at addresses on High Street and Xenia Avenue. The most recent report of a burglary occurred on April 15 at a Suncrest Drive address.
Two other incidents of attempted break-ins occurred on April 9 at a home on Glen View Road and April 21 at a home on Suncrest Drive.

The department issued last week’s warning in an attempt to be proactive by encouraging villagers to make simple adjustments to prevent further break-ins, Pettiford said.

Police do not believe the suspect to be a violent or dangerous threat to the village, but urge villagers to use common sense measures to keep their valuables secure.

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