WEST CHESTER TWP., Ohio -- A thief or thieves stole more than $12,000 of merchandise from Voice of America Shopping Centre last month.
Three break-ins were reported the night of Nov. 20 into the early morning of Nov. 21, according to the West Chester Police Department. The stores hit were Kirkland's, Maurices and Lighting EFX.
"Their method of operation was very similar, in breaking through either the back door or the front door through forced entry -- some type of pry tool, we believe," Detective Kyle Smith said.
Lighting EFX had, by far, the biggest loss: three paintings by artist Nelle Ferrara, each valued at more than $2,000. The thief or thieves also took a 4-foot-tall mirror valued at $600, a floor lamp valued at $800 and a white ceiling medallion valued at $150.
"Obviously the individual or individuals who participated in this have some type of knowledge as to the value of the paintings, which would lead me to believe they would know where to dispose of them, as well," Smith said.
At Kirkland's, the crooks took $850 in cash, a $500 safe and three small black cash boxes valued at $90.
Maurices lost $1,229 in cash and a $50 safe.
Anyone with information about the thefts, especially the paintings' whereabouts, should call the West Chester Police Department at 513-777-2231 or the Crime Tip Line at 513-759-7272.
Eric Schwartzberg of the Journal-News contributed to this report. The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO.