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Police issue arrest warrant

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The Meadow Lane residence of Kira Lugo was burglarized on Monday, May 6, when a perpetrator entered through an unlocked door and stole cash and rare coins from her home.

Police believe the burglary is connected to the rash of daytime break-ins in the village, according to Chief Tony Pettiford this week. There have now been nine burglaries and two attempted break-ins since January. Police are still investigating a possible suspect. Visit for updates.

Lugo said she left for work on Monday at 11:30 a.m. and returned at 5:40 p.m. to find dirt and leaves scattered around the hallway. Cash was stolen from the bedrooms of her two children. In addition a child’s coin collection that included foreign currency and gold coins was missing. Meanwhile, laptop computers and televisions were untouched. The suspect likely entered through an unlocked carport door. Lugo said she now fears another break-in.

“You’re uneasy,” Lugo said. “You don’t know if they’ll come back. I don’t want to leave my kids alone. You don’t want to feel that way in this community.”

After Lugo posted an account of her burglary on the “Yellow Springs area” Facebook page, Judith “JuJu” Wolert-Maldonado, who lives nearby, organized a neighborhood watch group called South Yellow Springs Watchdogs. Those who live on East Herman Street and in neighborhoods south of there can join the group by emailing Wolert-Maldonado at with their name, email, phone number and the street they live on.

There will be a meeting of the South Yellow Springs Watchdogs on Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m. Neighbors can email Wolert-Maldonado for the meeting location. Chief Pettiford will be in attendance.

Wolert-Maldonado said the watch group could organize bicycle or walking patrols during the day to look for suspicious activity in the neighborhood.

“I’m spooked to know I’ve been home when it’s happening and feel bad I wasn’t out there to see someone,” Wolert-Maldonado said. “At best [the watch group] will bring neighbors together and get to know who we are … If we can prevent robberies, that would be great too.”

Since the end of January, burglaries have occurred on West South College Street, Kenneth Hamilton Way, West Center College Street, High Street, Xenia Avenue, Suncrest Drive and Livermore Street. Attempted break-ins occurred on Glen View Road and Suncrest Drive. All have occurred during the daytime while residents were away from their homes. 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. And in all cases, except one, where a television was taken, the suspect has taken only jewelry, presumably to pawn for cash, according to Pettiford.

Lugo, who has lived in the village with her family for four years, is saddened by the theft of her son’s coin collection, which he had been putting together for years. And she regrets that the village seems to be a less safe place.

“I like the feeling of not having to [lock doors],” Lugo said. “Here you never felt like you had to and that was a good feeling, and now it’s sad that it’s been taken away.”

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