EATON — The Preble County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an increase in residential burglaries over the last few months, frequently taking place in rural areas during the day, when homeowners are away. The crimes are believed to be related to the major heroin addiction gripping the county.
“When people get addicted,” said Sheriff Michael Simpson, “they’ll do whatever they have to do to get their hands on that drug. Most of our addicts out here who are addicted and unemployed, we find they resort to property crimes — stealing what good, tax paying citizens like you and I have worked for so they can pawn it, sell it, trade it, whatever — to get that drug. And they’ll do that as many times in a week as they have to, because their one goal is to get the drug.”
A majority of the daytime burglaries have occurred in the northern part of the county, according to a press release sent out last week by the sheriff’s office. Deputies are asking residents to pay special attention in their neighborhoods and to report any suspicious activity while it is occurring.
“Residents know their neighborhoods best,” the release stated, “and typically know when something unusual is occurring or when a vehicle may not belong in the area.”
Residents reporting suspicious activity while the act is still taking place should contact local dispatch at 937-456-6262, or 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.
Residents wishing to provide detectives with information related to these burglaries are asked to contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 937-683-8047, call the detective section at 937-456-6262, or email [email protected].