Friday, February 16, 2001

5 arrested after auto break-ins

Ludlow police suspect string of thefts related

By Patrick Stack
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LUDLOW — After more than 25 car break-ins recently, Ludlow police arrested five people this week, issued a warrant for a sixth suspect and hope to arrest several more in what they're calling a series of related crimes across Northern Kentucky.

        Thursday morning, police arrested Bradley Havens, 19, of Fairfield; Jason Sumpter, 18, of Dayton, Ky.; and Robert Woodruff, 18, of Covington. All three were charged with receiving stolen property after police searched their car and said they found items that had been taken from a vehicle on Kenton Street in Bromley.

        Arrested Wednesday was Thomas McGaha, 21, of Dayton, Ky., who was charged with theft. A 13-year-old boy was also arrested earlier that night on charges of criminal mischief after he was seen shooting the window of a car with a BB gun, Ludlow Police Chief Tom Collins said.

        Police said the suspects in the break-ins used two-way radios to communicate as they found unlocked cars and took stereos, CDs and even loose change.

        All the cars involved were unlocked.

        At first, only small change was taken, but as time progressed, more valuable items, such as CDs and stereos, were stolen, Chief Collins said.

        The break-ins culminated in 13 incidents Monday night and early Tuesday in Ludlow, which led police to begin the surveillance operation that ended with the arrests.

        Sgt. Jack Prater said he thinks auto break-ins in nearby areas, such as Fort Wright and Park Hills, could be related, and said several more people may be involved.

        People do not always report minor break-ins, he said, so there may have been even more incidents.

        “There's probably going to be more arrests coming from this,” Sgt. Prater said.

        Chief Dan Kreinest of the Fort Wright police said about a dozen break-ins have been reported there in the past few weeks, which he says could be connected to the Ludlow thefts.

        “We will certainly be getting with (the Ludlow police), and we're going to proceed to work on the case,” he said.

        Chief Collins said people should make sure their cars are locked and keep small items out of sight.


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