Thursday, July 04, 2002

Convict sought in home robbery of elderly woman

By Jim Hannah,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The search for a man accused of choking and robbing an elderly woman in her Fort Thomas home shifted to Over-the-Rhine on Wednesday.

        Darryl D. Brandenburg, 41, is wanted in Campbell County for first-degree robbery, a Class-D felony punishable by 10-20 years in prison, police said. A 79-year-old woman identified him, they said, in a photo lineup as the man who choked and robbed her Monday afternoon.

        The search shifted after authorities traced a call Mr. Brandenburg placed to a relative in London Ohio, late Tuesday and found it was made from an Over-the-Rhine address, said Lt. Mark Dill, public-information officer for Fort Thomas Police.

        Despite the lead, police had not apprehended Mr. Brandenburg Wednesday. He is described as white, 5-foot-10, 160 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes and is considered dangerous.

        Mr. Brandenburg had been released on parole just three months earlier, Lt. Bill said. Mr. Brandenburg had served six years and nine months of a three- to 15-year sentence for a robbery conviction in Madison County, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

        A parole officer had given Mr. Brandenburg permission to stay with a family friend outside of Ohio in Fort Thomas, Lt. Dill said.

        Police said Mr. Brandenburg took the friend's van without permission and returned several hours later high on drugs. The friend reported to police that Mr. Brandenburg admitted to using crack cocaine. The friend gave Mr. Brandenburg the only cash he had — a roll of quarters — and told him to leave.

        About an hour later, police said, the elderly woman walked into her apartment in the 600 block of South Fort Thomas Avenue and found a man going through her belongings. The woman had left her front door unlocked for about 10 minutes as she visited an upstairs neighbor.

        The woman reported to police that the man hit her in the mouth, started to choke her and told her he would kill her if she didn't stop yelling. She told police she played dead and began to pray.

        One hundred dollars and a credit card were stolen from the home.

        “We are going to keep after this guy until we get him,” said Fort Thomas Police Chief Steve Schmidt. “This isn't the sort of thing we are going to tolerate in Fort Thomas.”


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