Grove City: Cash, cellphone taken from residents in two armed robberies

Staff Writer
ThisWeek group
ThisWeek group

Grove City police officers responded two consecutive days to reports of armed robberies.

Officers responded at 8:37 p.m. July 11 to a residence on the 3700 block of Broadway where a 30-year-old man reported two men entered his house, assaulted him and took his wallet containing $685 in cash.

He said a woman he had met the previous day at a Columbus bar went to his residence at 11 a.m. for a visit. He said he noticed she was texting someone on her phone at 8:17 p.m. She then said she had to use the restroom and walked toward the front door.

She opened the front door, and two unknown men with bandannas covering their faces rushed into the house, according to reports.

The victim told police the men yelled, "Where's the money?" and one of them pointed a gun at him. The other man began punching the victim, reports stated.

The men took the victim's wallet from his pocket and grabbed his cellphone when they realized he was texting for help.

The men and the woman left the house, taking the wallet.

The victim's mother told police she received a text message from her son reporting he was being robbed. She notified her husband, and they drove to their son's house.

The mother told police that when they arrived, she and her husband saw two men and a woman standing by a Jeep parked near their son's house and observed their son's wallet and its contents scattered on the ground near the vehicle.

She asked the three people if they had anything to do with the incident, and they became defensive. They said they lived in a nearby apartment and then entered the Jeep and left, driving north on Broadway.

The victim recovered his wallet, but the money was missing, according to reports.

At 10:40 p.m. July 12 officers responded to the area of Willowood Place and Parlin Drive on a report of an 18-year-old man having been robbed at gunpoint. The caller said the victim was his stepson, who was safe at their house on the 3400 block of Parlin Place

The victim told police he was walking to get food from a restaurant on the 3300 block of Broadway and was near the intersection of Willowood and Parlin when a dark-color SUV pulled up fast behind him.

Two men exited the passenger side of the vehicle. Both men pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded they give him all of his belongings or they would shoot him, reports stated.

The victim said he gave the men his cellphone, keys and an empty backpack. He noticed the driver of the SUV also was pointing a gun at him, according to reports.

After the robbers returned to the vehicle, the victim ran back to his house.

He said all three were about 25 years of age with thin builds and tattoos on their arms, reports stated. All were wearing dark clothes, and one of them had a mustache.

Officers were unable to locate a vehicle matching the description of the SUV in the area.

In other recent Grove City police reports:

* Officers were dispatched at 6:52 p.m. July 12 on a report of a stolen vehicle traveling northbound on Interstate 71 near London Groveport Road.

The dispatcher reported the vehicle had been stolen from a Madison County address and it was pulling a trailer with several all-terrain vehicles and kayaks that had also been stolen. The victim was using a GPS tracker to update the Madison County Sheriff's Office of his car's current location.

The officers were advised the stolen vehicle was exiting the interstate at Stringtown Road.

An officer was driving on Stringtown Road at the I-71 overpass and observed the vehicle stopping on the exit ramp.

A man exited the vehicle and walked back toward another parked car and spoke with the female occupant. Both vehicles then traveled to Stringtown Road and back onto Interstate 71 north.

The officer attempted to stop the stolen vehicle by activating his lights and siren, but the vehicle continued to travel northbound, increasing its speed. The second car continued traveling at a normal speed, acting as if it weren't involved with the stolen vehicle.

The officer pulled alongside the second car and forwarded a description of the female driver to the dispatcher. He could still see the stolen vehicle traveling north on the interstate, but it was having difficulty getting through the traffic because of the trailer, according to reports.

The stolen vehicle exited the interstate at Frank Road and traveled northbound before exiting onto South High Street and then turning onto South Innis Avenue.

When the officer arrived at Innis, he found the vehicle parked and unoccupied. He asked a resident who was sitting on his front porch where the driver headed, and he said north throughout an alley. The officer broadcast the information to Grove City and Columbus police officers.

A few minutes later, Columbus police reported they had detained a potential suspect.

The Columbus resident the Grove City officer had spoken to was not able to positively identify the suspect as the driver he had seen exit the stolen vehicle. The person was released from custody.

The Grove City officer gave Columbus police a description of the female driver of the second car, and they said it matched the description of the suspect's girlfriend.

The Grove City officer identified her as the driver of the second vehicle using her Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles photograph.

A detective from the Madison County Sheriff's Office arrived to process the scene. The stolen vehicle and trailer along with the items it contained later were released to the victim.

On July 13, the Grove City officer spoke with a Madison County detective, who provided a total value of the stolen vehicle, trailer, ATVs and kayaks as $45.300, according to reports.

The detective said the victim had seen the male and female suspects, and he took their photograph in the second vehicle, which the woman had been driving in Grove City.

The photograph was forwarded to Grove City, and the officer was able to identify both the male and female suspects.

The Grove City officer filed a warrant on a 32-year-old Columbus man through Franklin County on a charge of failure to comply with the order of a police officer.

He did not file a charge for receiving stolen property against the man because the Madison County detective reported her office would seek indictments against both the male and female suspects.

* Officers responded at 3:08 p.m. July 13 to a report of a robbery at a store on the 1700 block of Stringtown Road.

While en route, they were advised the female suspect had left in an SUV. Officers were unable to locate the vehicle.

A store employee told police she recognized the woman as being a suspect in a theft that occurred July 11 at the store, and she had walked toward the front of the store to try to block the woman from leaving July 13.

The suspect was carrying a basket full of items and pushed the clerk out of the way to exit the store. She entered the SUV driven by a man, and both fled.

The clerk had several marks on her arm and complained of shoulder pain, reports stated. Jackson Township paramedics treated her at the scene.

Store employees estimated the value of the stolen items at $1,384, according to reports.

* A Columbus man told police a laptop computer, fishing poles, a cellphone and a purse were stolen July 10 from his vehicle while it was parked at Gantz Park, 2259 Home Road. The man said the theft occurred while he and his girlfriend were taking a walk. Total loss was $1,380, reports stated.