West Side News

Township crime kept deputies busy in July


Thefts and vandalism in Prairie Township contributed to making July a busy month for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Deputy Aaron Kawasaki updated the Prairie Township trustees at their Aug. 21 meeting about recent crime activity in and around the township.

"Last month was probably one of the busiest I have ever seen," Kawasaki said. "I made three arrests in a single shift."

He warned residents that thieves have been targeting lawn mowers, stealing them from front yards, back yards and out of sheds.

"We are seeing if any of these thefts are related," he said.

Vandalism has also been a big problem in the Lake Darby area during third-shift hours. The department is looking into whether or not juveniles are involved, Kawasaki said.

Trustee Steve Kennedy said he has received complaints about dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles being driven recklessly down Woodlawn Avenue. Kawasaki said he would check out those complaints.

According to the monthly report, the sheriff's office made 14 felony arrests and 82 misdemeanor arrests in July. Deputies were dispatched a total of 747 times in July and made 65 felony-in-progress runs.

In other business, trustees agreed to hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Sept. 4, prior to their regular meeting, for an Ohio Public Works Commission application for work on Gladys Road. Both meetings will take place at township offices, 23 Maple Drive.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said this particular road project will be similar to several others in the township where the road will be rebuilt.

Trustees continued to apologize about the progress of the Beacon Hill Road project. There have been several delays due to utility companies whose schedules don't necessarily coincide with the construction schedule.

Kennedy said the work was supposed to be complete at the end of September but that date has been pushed to October, because of a three-week delay caused by water line issues.

"We have asked residents to put up with a lot," Kennedy said. "We have had to deal with utility companies and they are on a different timetable. We apologize. I know that's not the right answer."