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Police: Car theft ring striking throughout Tri-State, even in rural areas

car thief ring
Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 02, 2021

Police throughout the Tri-State area have been involved in attempting to break up an alleged car theft ring as it's hit everywhere from Blue Ash to Boone County.

While this group is still successfully getting its hands on cars, police said the most important thing people can do is keep their cars locked – even in rural areas.

"They become more confident, I guess, and where they are and their abilities and comfortable with the crimes," said Lt. Philip Ridgell, spokesperson with the Boone County Sheriff's Department.

Ridgell said that growth in confidence is moving thieves into more rural areas instead of neighborhoods with easy access to the interstate, as before.

"For what they've been able to accomplish with their crime spree and how they kind of work different areas of the Tri-State also tends to lead us to believe that it's a larger group and not a smaller group," he said.

He said the group will stop in an area and check for unlocked cars, often after dark. Police said people can become an easier target if they leave personal items and vehicle keys visible inside a car.

"Here in Villa Hills, we've had five cars stolen," said Bryan Allen, chief of the Villa Hills Police Department. "In my seven-and-a-half years as chief, I haven't had one car stolen. So this is a very unusual year for us."

Allen said all five of those vehicles had keys left inside.

The car thefts are unique, police said, because cities and neighborhoods as far south as Louisville and north past West Chester have been hit.

Ridgell said agencies across the Tri-State are communicating in real time, trying to get information from suspect interviews as new arrests are made.

"If there's an area that maybe is a new area, our detectives work quickly and closely with those areas to compare those notes," he said. "There's a lot of cases that are intertwined that overlap."

Police investigating said if anyone sees anything or has any information about the car thefts, call your local police department.