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Thursday, September 26, 2013 12:14 AM


Herald Editor

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Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach is asking residents to help his department solve several thefts in the eastern portion of the county.

According to a press release, the thefts occurred between Sept. 18 and Wednesday during nighttime hours. The thefts are mostly from vehicles on residential properties.

Riggenbach said the investigation into the thefts have led deputies to believe the person or persons involved may be using 4-wheel ATVs to aid in the commission of the crimes.

“Residents need to lock all their vehicles if they are kept outside and remove money and valuables,” Riggenbach said. “They also need to secure their garages and outbuildings. These steps can act as a deterrent to thieves.”

Any suspicious activity should be reported to the sheriff’s office, including motor vehicles, ATVs, pedestrians, etc. Any additional information such as vehicle or clothing descriptions, direction of travel, number of vehicles or people is very helpful.

The sheriff’s department recently arrested a Delphos man who is charged with second-degree felony burglary in connection with an investigation into recent residential burglaries in Washington and Jennings townships in Van Wert County and in Allen County.

Kenneth W. Wright, 25, is being held at the Van Wert County Correctional Facility and is scheduled for arraignment in Van Wert Municipal Court today.

Van Wert County Sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from Delphos Police and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at Wright’s address at 835 W. Skinner St., Lot 52, in Delphos. During the search, a number of items reported as stolen in the residential burglaries were recovered. Other stolen items were recovered at different locations.

Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish has had reports of several vehicle break-ins this summer in Marion Township as well. He said it would also help his department if residents were vigilant for suspicious activity.

“Rural homes and vehicles parked outside them are easier targets because neighbors are farther away and the roads can be less traveled,” Crish said. “If anyone sees something suspicious like a slow-moving vehicle or one that pulls into a drive and then backs out, call us. It’s better that we check it out and find nothing rather than miss something and fail to prevent a crime from happening.”

Crish also cautioned county residents to lock their vehicles, homes and outbuildings, install motion lights and if so inclined, get a dog.

“People trying to break into homes or vehicles don’t like to hear the sound of a dog barking and they don’t want to get bit,” he added.

The sheriff said that changing up lighting left on in the home can also be a deterrent.

“If you always leave the same light on when you leave or go to bed, someone watching will know that,” Crish said.

To report suspicious activity in Van Wert County, call 418-238-3866. In Allen County, call 419-227-3535.


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