BLANCHESTER — Blanchester police are working to solve a robbery that occurred around 8:30 p.m. Monday.
Police were called to the Save-A-Lot grocery store at 127 S. Broadway St. for a report of a robbery.
“An officer arrived and spoke to store employees, who stated a man entered the store, went to the service desk, indicated he was there to rob the store, then grabbed a clerk’s purse from the counter and ran out of the store,” said Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt. “The man did not brandish a weapon.”
He said two employees of C.R. Floor Care of Waverly, Ohio were working at the store at the time.
“One C.R. employee tried to stop the robber as he ran out of the store. Both C.R. employees and a store clerk chased the robber west down an alley to Wall Street where the man eluded them,” Reinbolt said. “The robber is described as a Caucasian man of thin build.
The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist, and additional Blanchester police officers were called in to work from home to assist in the investigation. Two Warren County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene with a tracking dog.
The case is actively under investigation by the Blanchester Police Department.
The police department is offering a $500 cash reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the crime. Information can be provided to the police department at 937-783-4702.
“Unfortunately, this is where ‘the rubber hits the road’ with regard to police budget cuts,” said Reinbolt. “The police department budget has been cut nearly 25 percent over the past five years. Those budget reductions have resulted in fewer police officers on the department roster, which is why there was only one officer on duty at the time of this crime. Several other crimes occurred in town while we were at the scene of this crime, and response to those calls was delayed due to workload and limited staffing.
“While I am appreciative of the assistance provided at the scene by the Clinton and Warren County Sheriff’s Offices, and I am grateful to our off-duty officers for coming in to work from home, this case points up the load we place on our off-duty personnel and other police agencies when we operate short-handed,” he continued. “In addition, responsibility for investigation of this offense rests with the Blanchester Police Department and will consume scores of scarce man-hours and hundreds of limited dollars in overtime over the next several weeks.“