For the five days between July 9 to July 14, the Portsmouth Police Department reported a total of seven burglaries. On Thursday, police Capt. Jason Hedrick reported two more: one occurred Wednesday night, another Thursday morning.
On Friday morning, after an apparently chaotic car chase, Hedrick reported Portsmouth police apprehended a suspect they believe responsible for all the robberies.
“The Portsmouth Police Department has been investigating the recent dramatic increase in residential burglaries,” Hedrick wrote in a press release. “In two of the burglaries, the suspect stole the victims’ vehicles.”
Hedrick added in the course of the investigation police identified Scioto County resident Christopher Shepherd as a possible suspect. Shepherd already was on probation through the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas.
At around 3:20 p.m., Thursday, probation officers with the court spotted the suspect driving an allegedly stolen vehicle taken during one of the burglaries. Probation officers attempted to stop Shepherd, but he fled in the allegedly stolen vehicle and the pursuit began.
That pursuit moved down Dorman Drive, Pleasant Avenue, State Route 139, Milldale and Bonser Avenue, ending at the dead end of Hutchinson Hollow. During the pursuit, Hedrick said Shepherd intentionally struck a marked New Boston Police Department vehicle.
When the suspect ran into the dead end of Hutchinson Hollow, he abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot into a wooded area. Police established a perimeter. With the aid of K-9 Officer Sita, police spent roughly four hours searching for the suspect. Officer Amy Glockner, who only recently joined the Portsmouth force, finally located him on foot in the 2400 block of Woods Ridge. Officers arrested the suspect and transported him to the Scioto County Jail.
According to police, when they located the suspect, he had in his possession items believed taken from one of the recent burglaries. Officials impounded those items along with the allegedly stolen vehicle.
Hedrick said Shepherd remains in the county jail on the probation violation but will face multiple additional charges related to numerous residential burglaries and Thursday’s pursuit. Law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, search and apprehension of the suspect include probation officers of the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas and Portsmouth Municipal Court, the Portsmouth and New Boston police departments, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Fire Department and the Minford rescue squad.
“The Portsmouth Police Department would like to extend our appreciation to all the agencies who assisted with the search and apprehension,” Hedrick said. “We would also like to thank the residents in this area who kindly brought water to the scene for the officers for conducting the search.”
Prior to the apprehension of the suspect, the incidents Hedrick named as quite possibly related took place on Grandview and Michigan avenues as well as on Coles Ridge. Hedrick noted the Wednesday night burglary happened in the 1000 block of 28th Street, which is out of the range of the others, but Hedrick said the crime matched the pattern of the others.
According to police incident reports, the items taken during the rash of burglaries all were fairly similar: wallets, purses, credit cards and relatively small amounts of cash, ranging from $30 to about $40.
Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.