Grove City police beat: Oct. 15

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A Dayton man told Grove City Division of Police officers a contractor he had hired to work on a project at a building on the 2100 block of Stringtown Road had stolen his pickup truck.

The incident occurred Oct. 6, when the building was being inspected. The victim said he was standing outside the building about 4 p.m., arguing with his contractors after the building inspection had failed.

He said he went back into the building to talk with the inspector, and when he returned outside a few minutes later, his truck was gone. He said he didn't know who took the vehicle.

While officers were talking to the victim, the vehicle was found after it was involved in an accident near state Route 665 and U.S. Route 62. The driver was identified as one of the contractors. Another contractor had been a passenger.

Franklin County sheriff's deputies were handling the accident report but said they could not take a receiving-stolen-property report or file charges because the vehicle had not been listed as stolen. Grove City police told the sheriff's office they would complete a vehicle-theft report for sheriff's deputies to investigate.

Both the driver and passenger were taken to Grove City Mount Carmel for injuries they had sustained in the accident.

Police Beat

In other recent Grove City police reports:

• A Columbus man reported three folding ladders were stolen from his pickup truck Oct. 11 while it was parked on the 4300 block of Broadway. Total loss was $1,600.

• A woman called police Oct. 11 to report a boy had taken her son's bicycle. The incident occurred about 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Grove City Skate Park, 3728 Hoover Road.

The victim told police he was sitting on his bike when the other boy walked up and put his hands on the handlebar and claimed the victim had stolen the bike from him. 

The victim told police he told the boy it was his bike and that his mother had purchased it for him. He said that as he reached for his phone to show the screenshots of the Facebook posting when his mother gave him the bicycle, the other boy tried to punch him but missed. He then pushed the victim off the bike, and the two boys wrestled on the ground. The other boy then took the bike, and the victim chased him.

The bicycle is valued at $650.

• A resident on the 2900 block of Addison Drive told police Oct. 12 his car valued at $2,000 was stolen overnight. He said he had paid for the car with cash and there were no liens on it.

• Officers responded at 5:49 p.m. Oct. 12 to a car dealership on the 5800 block of North Meadows Drive, where a vehicle had been stolen.

A salesman told police a man wearing a facemask and an orange traffic vest had asked to see the interior of a car. The salesman asked the man if he wanted to test-drive the vehicle, but the man declined. Because he wasn't going to be taking the vehicle off the lot, the salesman did not ask the man to provide a driver's license.

The man entered the car to inspect the interior and started the ignition. He then slammed the door shut and sped off. The car last was seen heading north on North Meadows.

The car is valued at $18,477.

• Employees of a jewelry store on the 4100 block of Buckeye Parkway reported a man had stolen a gold necklace valued at $4,999. The man went into the store about 6 p.m. Oct. 7 and asked if he could try on a gold necklace that was in a display case. After putting on the necklace, he asked if he also could see a bracelet, but the clerk told him he could see only one piece of jewelry at a time. The man then ran out of the store still wearing the necklace, entered a vehicle and sped away. 

One of the clerks told police the man had been in the store Oct. 4 just before closing time. He asked about some expensive jewelry, but the clerk refused to take the items out of the display case, and he left . She said the man has stolen items from another store in a mall.

• A resident on the 4000 block of Thompson Avenue told police she had purchased gift cards totaling $19,400 on Oct. 7 after receiving a scam call.

She said a man called her about 11 a.m., claiming to be an investigator with the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Office of the Inspector General. He reported that her bank accounts had been linked to drug trafficking and money laundering in El Paso, Texas, and there were warrants for her arrest. 

The man told the victim she needed to withdraw money from her bank accounts to clear the warrants.

He told her to withdraw funds to purchase "federally accepted gift cards." He said once she purchased the cards, he would send agents to her home to scan them, issue her a cashier's check in the amount of the gift cards and issue her a new Social Security number.

The woman told police she stayed on her phone with the man as she withdrew money from her accounts and purchased the gift cards from three stores. She then gave the man the numbers that were on the gift cards.

The man then told her he would put her on hold while he verified the card numbers and cleared the warrants. The line disconnected, and when the woman tried to call back, she found the phone number was invalid.

She told police she already had been contacted by a Nike gift-card fraud investigator, who said several of the cards had been used to buy shoes that were going to be shipped to an address in New Castle, Delaware.

• A student reported his bicycle valued at $600 was stolen Oct. 5 while he was participating in basketball practice at Brookpark Middle School, 2803 Southwest Boulevard.

• A Columbus woman told police her pickup truck valued at $2,500 was stolen Oct. 7 in Grove City.

The woman said she had picked up two men in south Columbus and was driving them to Grove City when she stopped about 3:10 a.m. at a gas station on the 1900 block of Stringtown Road to use the restroom before they planned to get a room at a nearby motel.

After using the restroom, she returned to discover the truck was gone. 

The woman told police she had known one of the men for a while but knew him only by a first name and initial.

• The senior security specialist for a company on South Meadows Drive told police Oct. 2 an employee had stolen five cellphones Sept. 11 from the facility while loading a trailer. He said the man apparently concealed the phones on his person instead of loading them onto the trailer and later went to his car mid-shift.

He said he interviewed the employee Oct 2. The  employee denied taking the phones, even when shown a surveillance video that confirmed the man was the only person loading the truck at the time.

The security specialist said the company would require a subpoena to turn over the surveillance video to police. Officers were waiting to receive the video before filing theft charges on the suspect.

• A resident on the 4300 block of Broadway reported Oct. 2 that he believes a man who had been staying with him and his girlfriend stole several items from their home.

The victim said they had allowed him to stay with them for one night before taking him to a rehabilitation center Oct. 2. The missing items included a gold ring, a laptop, a computer, prescription medications and $600 in cash.

• A Fort Wayne, Indiana, man reported Oct. 3 that several tools had been stolen overnight from his truck while he was staying at a hotel on the 4200 block of Gantz Road. Total loss was $1,270.

• The operations manager for a Columbus company reported Sept. 30 that tools valued at $14,000 had been stolen overnight from a construction site on the 3400 block of Southwest Boulevard.

• A Powell woman told police her vehicle had been stolen Oct. 1 while she was at work at a business on the 3700 block of Marlane Drive. The theft occurred between 4:05 and 7:04 p.m.

• The owner of a Grove City business reported his company truck valued at $30,000 had been stolen Sept. 29 while it was parked at his home on the 4300 block of Parkway Village Drive. Several tools and other work materials, valued together at $6,000, were in the vehicle.