Tuesday, January 7, 2003

Another local auto business burgled

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - For the third time in less than two weeks, thieves have netted thousands of dollars of merchandise in overnight burglaries at automotive businesses here.

When the owner of Dick's Standard Service opened his station at Fifth and Main streets Saturday, he discovered that burglars had forced open the back door and made off with a 14-foot U-Haul truck and about $30,000 worth of tools and automotive supplies, said Lt. Col. Mike Kraft of the Covington police.

On Dec. 26, burglars stole three cars and a number of keys from Tristate Motors at 1401 Madison Ave., he said.

In another overnight burglary, thieves stole keys, cash and a Toyota 4-Runner on Dec. 27 from American Auto Body at 2301 Donaldson Ave. Police later recovered the 4Runner.

"There's a possibility that the three break-ins are linked,'' Col. Kraft said.

In Saturday's burglary, the thieves kicked in a rear panel of a former carwash bay and reached inside to force open a back door, Col. Kraft said.

They then stole cases of Chevron and Valvoline products - including spark plugs, air filters, fan belts, thermostats and clamps - as well as a locker full of automotive tools, said Dick Ostendorf, owner of Dick's Standard Service.

The burglars apparently loaded their loot into the U-Haul bearing the Arizona license plate AA36212.

"We had a big inventory (of automotive supplies) that we kept in stock, and that's all gone,'' Mr. Ostendorf said. "They also took a whole locker full of tools that are used in the automotive industry. Most of our workers have tools in their cars, so we've been able to keep operating.''

Anyone with information on any of the burglaries is asked to call Covington police at (859) 292-2222.

E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com

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