Chief: Citizens can learn from Blan incidents

News Journal

BLANCHESTER — At around 2:15 a.m. Friday police were dispatched to the 100 block of West Baldwin Street for two men seen getting into an unlocked car not their own. The victim stated the men were headed toward the United Dairy Farmers store on West Main Street,” said Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.

“When he arrived in the area of the reported incident, the responding officer noticed a vehicle quickly leaving the area. Suspecting the suspects might be in that car, he followed it,” said Reinbolt.

“The car drove to the UDF store. It turned out the driver of the car was the victim of the reported crime. She was convinced that two men standing inside UDF were the individuals who entered her car.”

Reinbolt said the officer intervened, spoke to the two men and recalled seeing them elsewhere in town at around the time of the crime. He therefore determined that they were not the suspects.

“This seems a good time to remind all of our citizens of the importance of locking up their homes and cars,” said Reinbolt. “Earlier this week we had a reported burglary in which the victim left the front door to their home unlocked. Unlocked cars are an easy target for drug addicts who are looking for anything of value they can put their hands on.

“This incident is also an example of the fact that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we can all jump to the wrong conclusion,” Reinbolt said. “Being the victim of any crime is frustrating and angering. However, as in this case, mistakes can be made and could lead to confronting the wrong person. That wrong person might take offense, and the situation could turn nasty quickly.

”It is not just our job to make arrests. It is our job to objectively gather evidence in order to determine who has, and who has not, committed a particular crime. We ask that folks please allow us to do that.”

News Journal