CINCINNATI — A violent crime squad's seizure revealed a separate problem troubling neighborhoods across Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Police SWAT and District One officers served a search warrant that reeled in a mix of meth, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, cash and two handguns. One of those weapons was reported stolen from a car in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
"I see a lot of people getting (items stolen) from them," said Gee, a man living in OTR who provided only his first name out of fear for his safety. "I get stolen from a lot."
In 30 of Cincinnati's 52 neighborhoods, there were more auto thefts and thefts from autos in the last four months than each community's average totals for the last three years, according to CPD crime analysis. Nine communities — including downtown, Kennedy Heights, Oakley and Avondale — saw increases in both crimes.
The biggest numbers, though, lie in OTR where auto thefts doubled and thefts from vehicles jumped from eight in 2021 to 49 so far this year.
D1 Violent Crimes Squad with CPD SWAT, executed search warrant this a.m. in response to drug trafficking complaints on Walnut and surrounding OTR area. 2 stolen guns, meth, fentanyl, heroin, marijuana. Arrested, with 9 pending felonies, was charged today with 14 new felonies. pic.twitter.com/Qa7nsa5ouB— CPDCaptHammer (@CPDCaptHammer) April 14, 2022
"I notice some broken glass on the street here and there," said Elias Steele, who lives in OTR. "I'm lucky enough to park my car in a garage."
While not everyone noticed the spike, police said thieves are seizing more opportunities. The number of people parking to enjoy the area's shopping and entertainment is larger than in prior months of the COVID-19 pandemic, they said. Also, people continue to leave valuables in cars despite warnings.
The stolen gun recovered Thursday was in the hands of someone accused of nine past felonies, with 14 new felony charges pending. Similar cases involved stolen guns being used in violent crimes, investigators said. So, police hope their seizure is a reminder for people to better guard their belongings, especially guns.
CPD Chief: Cincinnati off to 'difficult start' with gun violence
Detective: Thieves use robbed Norwood postal worker's key to steal $200k in checks from mailboxes