RACINE, OHIO (WOWK) — Those who call Racine home say it used to be a calm, quiet sort of community.
“Ten, 20 years ago we left our doors unlocked. We left everything you know, not secure because there was no like, violence like this in this town,” says Nancy Scarbrough, a resident of Racine.
Now, village marshal Michael Hupp says things have begun to change: “Over the last three weeks or so, we’ve had multiple car thefts. And even some just being broken into and items stolen.”
Since around Thanksgiving, Hupp says around half a dozen reports of car theft and break-ins have come through the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.
Some attempts have even been caught on camera in the village. Hupp says a once uncommon occurrence is becoming anything but.
“We have video footage of who we believe is a female going around pulling door handles and obviously finding some that are unlocked,” Hupp says.
In an even more unusual twist, Hupp says some residents woke up to their cars not quite as they’d left them.
“They don’t smoke, but they found cigarette ashes in their car. And items that did not belong to them and some of their items missing… One case was like, a hundred miles put on the car,” Hupp says.
Nancy Scarbrough says she had her car stolen in the night just feet away from her bedroom window.
“I’m surprised that we didn’t even hear it. But someone took my car, and we had no clue who it was. They found, I think it was a day or two later, up on the sandbar up at Letart. What he did was he drove it right into thistle so you couldn’t even see it,” Nancy says.
She says she had left it unlocked that night, and it was found scratched and banged up with wires clipped, and the thief had stolen her billfold.
“It was like my own violation, it was personal to me. Cause that was my car,” Nancy says.
Nancy warns people in the area: “Keep everything locked up. Don’t put anything personal in your car, and nothing of value.”
The village marshal says he is working closely with Meigs County Sheriff’s Office to investigate this uptick in car thefts and break-ins. Hupp says they have suspects, but no arrests have been made.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Meigs County Sheriff’s Office.
For more information on them, visit their website here.