ST. BERNARD, Ohio — Allyson Dotson doesn’t feel safe in her childhood home anymore, she said Friday afternoon. Thieves took a brick to her window in late September — and then, eight days later, did it again.
“I can’t stay here alone,” she said, standing outside the boarded-up window on West Ross Avenue. “I have to have somebody with me.”
Dotson’s is one of 25 St. Bernard households burglarized since Sept. 1, according to the St. Bernard Police Department. Officers urged members of the small community to stay vigilant and install security systems in response.
Dotson did. She’s still scared, she said.
The people who broke into her home also broke the lock on her late father’s bedroom door, stealing thousands of dollars in personal belongings and electronics. The only thing they left was the empty case of a new video game Dotson bought for her nephew.
“Being broken into twice, I can’t be here alone,” she said. “I’m very scared. I’m terrified.”
Jonathan Stuchell, the village’s director of public safety, called the break-ins crimes of opportunity.
“St. Bernard is kind of a pass-through community, so, you know, you got people coming from Vine Street,” he said. “It is a viewing back into the various neighborhoods, and people look for that.”
Village officials hosted a special Thursday night meeting to answer questions about other recent criminal activity and encourage residents to become active in the local block watch program. Getting them involved is key, Stuchell said.
Dotson plans to stay with her aunt until she’s sure her home is safe again.
“I just want St. Bernard to be a better place,” she said.