Saturday, July 20, 2002

Door-to-door manhunt seeks felon on the run

By Jim Hannah,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT THOMAS — Police from 11 Northern Kentucky departments searched suburban roads and woods Friday for a convicted felon accused of burglarizing a home and leaving the scene of an accident.

        At one point, 25 officers were searching door to door for Phillip Allan Whaley, 36. By Friday evening, they still had not found him.

[photo] Newport police officer Bruce Markus and his police dog search a building on 3 Mile Road in Highland Heights for Phillip Whaley.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Police warned residents of the upscale bedroom community to stay in their homes, calling Mr. Whaley potentially armed and dangerous. The manhunt, which used police dogs from Newport and a traffic helicopter, started at 9 a.m. when Mr. Whaley allegedly fled the scene of a car wreck in Cincinnati. Police focused on Fort Thomas after his car was found in front of a home that was burglarized.

        Mr. Whaley is described as 5-foot-11, 200 pounds with brown eyes and red hair. Fort Thomas police did not have an address for Mr. Whaley, but said he grew up in Fort Thomas where he once attended Highlands High School.

        Fort Thomas Police Detective Mike Jansen said police are using extreme caution because Mr. Whaley is wanted for stealing a pistol and could be armed.

        “For the safety of our officers and the community, we have to consider Mr. Whaley armed and dangerous,” Detective Jansen said.

        There are warrants for Mr. Whaley's arrest in Boone County in Kentucky and Clermont County in Ohio.

        Capt. Jack Prindle of the Boone County Sheriff's Department said Mr. Whaley is wanted for breaking into a residence Wednesday and stealing a Glock .45-caliber handgun. Clermont County officials confirmed they also issued a warrant for Mr. Whaley's arrest on a felony theft charged filed in March.

        Police speculate that Mr. Whaley fled the wreck in Cincinnati Friday because he knew he was wanted. But another driver involved in the wreck followed a beat-up Ford LTD allegedly driven by Mr. Whaley into Newport.

        A short time later, Barb Hofstetter of Fort Thomas heard something as she showered. As Mrs. Hofstetter dressed, she heard someone leaving from the back door of her Crowell Avenue home. Mrs. Hofstetter found items thrown around and her checkbook in the back yard. Police found Mr. Whaley's wrecked car parked one house away.


        Steve Kemme contributed to this story.


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