Friday, September 26, 2003

Police hall burgled of booze

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - Somewhere, a brazen burglar is probably tossing back a cold brew - courtesy of the local police.

Whoever broke into the police union hall was "pretty gutsy," said Officer Brian Robinson, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 38, which is now missing a TV set, $300 in cash, liquor, beer and neon beer advertising signs.

"Somebody planned on having a party. They're going to throw a little soiree - at our expense," Robinson said. "If they wanted to draw attention to themselves, that certainly was the way to do it."

The break-in at the union hall, 180 Forest Lake Lane, was the latest in a series of similar crimes in the Joyce Park area, Robinson said.

The building, which is clearly marked with the star-shaped FOP insignia outside, is used for off-duty meetings and social gatherings. It was burglarized sometime Wednesday.

Someone broke out a window, then damaged cabinets valued at $1,850 to steal various items, including the party items, cleaning supplies - and a single roll of toilet paper, Robinson said.

The break-in came after a member apparently had forgotten to activate the burglar alarm upon leaving, Robinson said.

"It's a little embarrassing," he acknowledged. "We're always preaching safety, safety, safety... it goes to show anyone can have a lapse in safety and anyone is susceptible to crime."

He said police had gathered some evidence that might lead to a suspect. Sgt. Thomas E. Kilgour said the investigation was continuing.


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