NORTH COLLEGE HILL, Ohio – With a population of about 9,300 people, North College Hill is a city with nice homes, good schools and a mature business district.
But Police Sgt. Ryan Schrand says the city has been held under a negative light recently due to several instances of crime.
"Generally, it's a really nice community. It's really quiet," Schrand said.
An 83-year-old woman was walking home with her walker and purse at about 8:30 p.m. on June 17 when a man and a woman, later identified as Antoine Hocker and Lashawnda Stevens, knocked her to the ground in the 1500 block of West Galbraith Road, police said.
The two were later taken into police custody . Police are still looking for a third person in the case.
On Thursday, July 3, North College Hill police said they found a naked man and a half-naked woman "covered in blood" in the street after the pair got into a violent fight overnight.
Officers said they responded to a residential area near Betts and Catalpa Avenues at about 2 a.m. and found the two outside suffering from multiple stab wounds.
Investigators followed a trail of blood to a home a block away at 1840 Cordova Ave. Once inside, officers said they found heroin, cocaine, marijuana and alcohol.
That same day, a 66-year-old woman was attacked while loading groceries into her car outside a North College Hill Kroger.
Authorities said 19-year-old Drakkar Harris pushed the woman into her backseat, snatched her purse and ran along the east side of the Kroger in the 7100 block of Hamilton Ave. at about 2:30 p.m.
Harris was caught after a North College Hill City employee spotted him running near the North College Hill City Center building on West Galbraith Road and alerted police.
Police said Harris is a suspect in several other recent robberies in North College Hill.
Schrand said these recent crimes have the North College Hill Police Department up in arms.
"This activity and this behavior will not be tolerated," Schrand said.
When it comes to dealing with cases involving the robbing of the elderly or disabled, Schrand said he’s disgusted.
"It's a crime of opportunity – and at the same time, they're cowards,” Schrand said. “There's no other way to put it."
As a precaution, North College Hill police have increased patrols around grocery stores.
Because the city is home to the Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as many elderly people, Schrand said there's a renewed effort to keep crime down so residents don’t feel too scared to go out.
"We're going to be putting out some outreach programs to talk to these folks to make sure they have some information so we can help them not become victims," Schrand said.
Community members said they have their own suggestions about what needs to be done.
"If we're out in the community walking, make sure that they're safe. Just keep an eye out for them," resident John Garner said.