Burglaries Target Vacant Houses, Storage Units


Hillsboro police have made six arrests–with more arrests and more charges pending–in a rash of burglaries of residences and storage buildings around Hillsboro.

The arrests include one suspect who was allegedly caught inside a vacant home by a family member who had come to check on the place.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Hillsboro Police Department has arrested Jeffrey L. Atkinson, 37, of Schram City; Cody N. Rice, 29, of Hillsboro; Aaron M. Riley, 37, of Hillsboro; Lauren B. Davidson, 29, of Hillsboro; Jacob Elkins, 32, of Hillsboro; and Ryan M. Harmon, 31, of Hillsboro.

The investigation began during an arrest on Christmas Day when the Hillsboro Police Department learned that vacant structures in and around Hillsboro had been burglarized by multiple people.  Since the suspects had targeted seldom-visited storage units and residences where the owner had not been home for some time, nothing had yet been reported missing.

Then on Thursday, Dec. 29, cut locks and a suspicious male was reported at the storage units on Route 16 in Schram City.  Multiple units had been entered, and one of the victims then discovered that her residence on Vandalia Road, which she had not been at for 1-2 weeks, had been entered with a large amount of items missing.  Jeffrey L. Atkinson, 37, of Schram City, was subsequently arrested on charges of burglary and possession of burglary tools.

On New Year’s Day, while checking on the vacant residence of family member in Hillsboro, a witness caught a suspect in the residence, allegedly in the act of a burglary.  

The witness offered to give the suspect a ride and while taking him to the police department, the suspect fled the vehicle.  

The following day on Sunday, Jan. 2, police were given consent to search a garage on Rountree Street and subsequently collected stolen items.  Cody N. Rice, 29, of Hillsboro, was arrested on charges of theft and possession of stolen property.

The investigation then led to a search warrant being obtained with the help of Montgomery County State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti for an apartment on King Street in Hillsboro.  Aaron M. Riley, 37, of Hillsboro, was arrested for residential burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of methamphetamine.  Lauren B. Davidson, 29, of Hillsboro, was arrested for possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

Also on Jan. 2, the Hillsboro Police Department received a report of three industrial gas-powered generators stolen from Beal Street in Hillsboro.

On Monday, Jan. 3, the investigation led to a storage shed on North Road at Meisenheimer Avenue, north of Hillsboro, where more stolen property was recovered.  Jacob Elkins, 32, of Hillsboro, was arrested for criminal trespass to an unoccupied residence with possible further charges.

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, Ryan M. Harmon, 31, of Hillsboro, was charged with burglary, possession of burglary tools, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a controlled substance.

Hillsboro Police Chief Randy Leetham urges citizens to make sure residences and storage facilities are securely locked and regularly checked.  Any suspicious activity or missing items should be reported to police.


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