Saturday, October 26, 2002

More robberies, many at gunpoint

Police seek help to find suspect

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The suspect in the Corryville robbery-shooting is described as a black man, dark-skinned, 25-35 years old, 6 feet tall, 215 pounds.
Police sketch

Robberies - many of them at gunpoint - continue to increase throughout Cincinnati, with detectives looking for help to solve an unusual one in which the victim had part of a finger shot off.

The highest profile gunpoint robbery happened Oct. 17, when Cincinnati Councilman David Pepper was robbed at gunpoint outside his Mount Adams home, then driven around the city for 45 minutes while his abductors tried to get more money from ATMs.

There has been no arrest in the Pepper incident.

In the case where the victim lost his finger, police on Friday released a sketch of the suspect who approached John Buckley, 22, as he got out of his car last weekbehind his house on Euclid Avenue in Corryville. The robber took Mr. Buckley's wallet and fired a shotgun at him. Within a half hour of the 11:40 p.m. robbery, the robber tried to use the man's debit card at an ATM inside a west-side convenience store.

Robberies, many of them at gunpoint, are happening more often throughout Cincinnati. After a city-wide increase last year of more than 35%, the Cincinnati Police Department again reports more: 12.7% more, comparing the first nine months of 2001 and 2002.
Only District 2 saw a decrease so far this year, of almost 7%. The others:
District 1: up 16.8%, with jumps in the business district, West End and Over-the-Rhine;
District 3: up 21%, with jumps in North and South Fairmount, plus East, West and Lower Price Hill;
District 4: up 7%, with jumps in Corryville, Avondale, North Avondale and Walnut Hills;
District 5: up 19%, with jumps in Northside, Mount Airy, Winton Hills and Winton Place.
Similar crimes are happening more often in many neighborhoods. Overall, robberies are up almost 13% so far this year over last, according to department statistics comparing the first nine months of both years. Four of the five police districts recorded increases - the biggest, 21%, in District 3. District 2 saw the only decrease.

The Corryville incident was unusual for several reasons, said Detective Joy Ludgatis: the robber used a shotgun, not a handgun; he was fairly well-dressed in a leather dress coat; and he seemed unfazed by the fact that he shot his victim.

"I think that's the scary part,'' the detective said. "If he'll do that, then what else would he do?''

Mr. Buckley and a witness described the suspect as black, dark-skinned, 25 to 35, 6 feet tall and about 215 pounds. He wore a nylon head covering during the robbery, but had a baseball cap on at the ATM.

Police ask anyone with information about the suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 352-3040.


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