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Police seeking help with burglaries

2/16/2017 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Shown from left are Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) members Larry Kovach, Bobby Krohmer, Emery Pittman, Dustin Boswell and Ray Anderson standing with Springfield Community Police Officer Dan Rafferty. VASP was recognized at the Feb. 9 Board of Trustees meeting for their service to the community.
Photo: Maria Lindsay

Sawyerwood area residents cautioned about recent rash of home break-ins

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Police Department is warning residents in the Sawyerwood neighborhood, located opposite of Town Hall, to be aware of recent break-ins.

At the Feb. 9 Springfield Board of Trustees meeting, Detective Brian Troyer stated there have been numerous reports of thefts from houses, storage sheds and garages in the last several weeks in that area.

Troyer added later the department has received nine such reports since December, with four or five of them in the last few weeks. He stated that in all the cases a door away from the street had been kicked in or pried open using tools while the home was unoccupied, forcing wooden door jambs to give way and opening the homes to intruders. The break-ins have occurred both during the day and at night.

Troyer said burglars have taken small items such as cash, jewelry, guns, laptops and tablets, tools, CD/DVD players, game systems and other small electronic devices. In addition, at one vacant home, a number of appliances were removed, with a truck to haul them away parked outside. He stated neighbors saw the truck but believed the individuals involved were part of a crew making repairs to the home.

Troyer said the department has no leads on the incidents to date.

“Unfortunately, it is hard to catch burglars in the act and harder to catch them after the fact,” said Troyer. “If you see something that does not look right on your street, call police — don’t worry about ‘bothering’ us.”

He also offered the following advice to prevent burglaries: Turn on porch lights and leave them on when it’s dark; report all suspicious activity; lock all doors; consider investing in a house alarm — even one that just makes a noise, or an inexpensive security camera; and lock doors to vehicles and do not leave valueables inside that may attract thieves.

Troyer suggested homeowners also record serial numbers of electronics and take photos of valuables to help identify stolen possessions when and if they are recovered.

In other police business, officials cautioned they are stepping up prosecution of those who trespass on the vacant Edwin Shaw property, located on Flickinger Road.

Troyer stated the property has drawn numerous trespassers since it was closed in December 2009, some of whom come ghost hunting and some who use the empty property for other purposes, and the property has been subjected to significant vandalism.

Troyer cautioned the facility is dilapidated and unsafe, and added “all trespassers will be prosecuted.”

Also at the meeting, township officials honored the Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) for its service to the community. The organization includes 12 to 15 volunteers trained in various police duties to assist the Springfield Police Department in various nonenforcement services.

Linda Lohr, VASP coordinator who works with community Police Officer Dan Rafferty, reported the group logged 2,494 hours in 2016, saving the department $20,000 in wages calculated at minimum wage. VASP works at community and school events and assists the police department in duties that help free up officers for more serious activities.

Trustee Joe DiLauro and Parks and Recreation Director Doug Foltz were among those who commended VASP for their service to the community.

Police Chief David Hoover also expressed his appreciation to VASP members for their work and added, “ I hope the community understands your contributions.”

In other business, trustees approved:

• to amend a previous motion for repairs to a police department Ford Taurus, to pay $1,579 to Ken’s Auto;

• to participate in the 2017 pavement maintenance and/or marking program with Summit County;

• a 10-year extension to 2027 of the maintenance agreement with Lake Township for Pontius Street;

• the transfer of $80,000 among road department funds for the purchase of salt supplies;

• to remove Springfield Police Officer Eric Glass from full-time probation;

• the certification of 70.71 miles of roads in the township to be used in calculating the township’s share of state Motor Vehicle Fuel taxes;

• the cancellation of nuisance abatement for 947 Mohawk Trail as the matter has been addressed; and

• to declare 1027 Mohawk Trail to be a nuisance and initiate abatement for trash and debris.

The next regular trustees meeting will take place Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 2459 Canfield Road.

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