Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police beat

Westerville: Backhoe, lawn tractor driver charged with OVI

A 48-year-old man was arrested and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated after Westerville police said he crashed a backhoe into a city-owned footbridge about 9:45 p.m. June 24.

According to Westerville police reports, a neighbor called to report that the man was driving a riding lawnmower at a high rate of speed down a North State Street sidewalk near Polaris Parkway.

The neighbor reported she went to investigate after she saw the man walking in the opposite direction he had been driving and discovered that his tractor had traveled down a 15-foot embankment into a creek.

According to reports, when Westerville police arrived, the man was attempting to extract the tractor from the creek bed using a backhoe. Police said they observed him back the backhoe into the footbridge, damaging some beams.

The man did not test over the legal limit for alcohol but police arrested and charged him with OVI after consulting the division's "drug recognition expert," reports said.

In other recent incident reports from the Westerville Division of Police:

* A home in the 600 block of Granby Place South was burglarized between 5:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. June 26. According to police, thieves forced their way in through a kitchen window and stole jewelry and a laptop computer.

* Thieves smashed the windows of several cars parked in the 300 block of Abbotsbury Drive between 11 p.m. June 25 and 5:45 a.m. June 26. Small items and quantities of money were stolen.

* A business in the 100 block of Heatherdown Drive was broken into between 4:30 p.m. June 24 and 7:30 a.m. June 25. Petty cash totaling $750 was stolen.

* A 23-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were arrested and charged with shoplifting after they stole $547 worth of merchandise from a business in the first block of West Schrock Road.


Blendon Township

Blendon Township police reported that catalytic converters were stolen from 18 separate vehicles parked at a business in the 2900 block of Morse Road between 8 p.m. June 21 and 2 p.m. June 26.

The stereo was stolen from an additional vehicle.

Total value of the theft was nearly $14,000, police said.