Police agencies across the Tri-State are looking for men who they said have been targeting elderly people in several recent thefts – some of those victims were chosen while visiting loved ones at a local cemetery.
The Montgomery Police Department are telling people across the area to be on alert after a string of thefts at cemeteries and parks across the region.
Multiple thefts happened at Gate of Heaven Cemetery on Montgomery Road in June and July. The suspects targeted elderly victims – one who said more than $10,000 in charges to her credit card appeared after someone stole a purse out of her car.
“I think it’s scary and sad that someone’s going to visit a relative in the cemetery and they would have to worry about that,” Symmes Township resident Alison Moss said.
According to police reports, witnesses saw a man drive around Gate of Heaven Cemetery before getting out of his car, crouching down and tip-toeing toward one of the victims’ cars. After stealing a purse, he made eye contact with cemetery workers, got into his car and sped away.
“That is a little scary to hear that that’s happening, because there are certain times of day when there are not as many people here,” Moss said. “So, yeah, definitely puts me on high alert.”
Montgomery police said the suspects are taking stolen credit cards to grocery stores and buying large amounts of gift cards. So far, they have used the cards at the Kroger on Montgomery Road in Symmes Township and the Meijer in Loveland. Surveillance footage at some of the stores has helped police get photos of the people they said are responsible.
The investigation also includes thefts from cemeteries and parks in West Chester, Evendale, Blue Ash and Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
One of the men has a Bentley tattoo on the back of his neck. The men are thought to drive a black Nissan Pathfinder
“It’s good, I guess, that the community knows so people can start paying more attention to that and hopefully they’ll catch the people who are doing it,” Moss said.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes should contact the Montgomery Police Department at (513) 985-1600.