Many residents of Owensville woke up Aug. 10 to find their automobiles had been illegally entered into overnight and their personal belongings stolen.
“It looks like a snatch and grab operation,” said Owensville Police Chief Paul Sturgill. “The perpetrators of this crime were looking for anything of value that they could get their hands on.”
According to Sturgill, sometime in the early morning hours of Aug. 10, someone illegally entered neighborhood automobiles and stole whatever they found.
“We are looking at criminal trespassing and theft,” Sturgill said. “Cars were hit all over town; some were outside the village limits into county areas. They did not break into the cars, they only gained access to vehicles that were unlocked.”
Owensville resident John Rossman was one of the nine victims who notified Owensville police of the crime.
“I got into the car to go to work Thursday morning and noticed that the passenger side door was ajar,” Rossman said. “I immediately knew that something was amiss. I searched my vehicle only to discover that my cell phone had been taken.”
Police reports show that the primary items targeted for theft, in addition to cell phones, were purses, stereo systems, CD players, and cash.
“Whoever committed these crimes was looking for anything that was valuable, loose, visible, and accessible,” said Chief Sturgill.
It was also reported that more obscure items, such as gloves, medication, pocket flashlights, nail clippers and magazines, were also pilfered.
According to Clermont County Sheriff Tim Rodenberg, two vehicles outside the Owensville village limits were also illegally entered and items were reported stolen.
Owensville resident Betsy Bradley, whose purse was stolen from her vehicle, said that in the 35 years that she has resided in Owensville, something like this has never happened.
“We were upset and surprised,” she said. “Fortunately, I do not keep valuables or cash in my purse. All that they got were my identification cards, some documents, and photographs.”
According to Chief Sturgill, this was an isolated incident and residents should remain vigilant in the future.
“We have never had something like this happen in the village before,” he said. “We are asking residents to lock their vehicles at night and be on the lookout for any future suspicious activity. In the meantime, we are looking into leads and the case is still under investigation.”
At this time, there are no suspects or leads in the case.