MOUNT WASHINGTON - Two young adults and a juvenile were recently arrested in connection with a string of burglaries that occurred in Mount Washington the last weekend of September.
Twenty-year old Richard Easley of Bardstown and a 16-year-old Mount Washington boy are in custody after allegedly breaking into nine local businesses and stealing thousands of dollars in property, checks and cash.
Ashley Owen, 21, of Mount Washington is charged with receiving stolen property and forging stolen checks.
A 20-year-old Mount Washington woman is also believed to be involved, but because charges are pending, her name could not be disclosed as of yet.
Mount Washington police said the suspects’ first victim was Mass Tire and Automotive on Delania Drive.
Police reports state the suspects broke in the back door of the shop before taking a $10,000 diagnostic scanner in addition to a 1996 Toyota Camry worth an estimated $3,500 sometime late Saturday, Sept. 29 or early Sunday, Sept. 30.
Incidentally, police have linked the suspects to a burglary that occurred at the scene two weeks later when jewelry, tools and a 2003 Ford Escape belonging to a customer were stolen.
After hitting Mass Tire and Automotive, Mount Washington police said the suspects then proceeded to Hair Tenders Barber Shop on Highway 44 East, across the street to Dr. Joseph Geraci’s dental office and next door to a State Farm Insurance office.
Police believe the suspects then broke into Amanda’s Creations Florist and S&S Tops on Old Bardstown Road before hitting LuLu’s Salon, the Mount Washington Barber Shop and The Pioneer News’ Mount Washington office, which share a building at the corner of Snapp and West Streets.
After learning of the break-ins the morning of Monday, Oct. 1, Mount Washington police determined the suspects gained access to the building through a window by pushing in an air-conditioning unit.
Once inside, the suspects made off with a $250 flat-screen TV, a fire-proof safe filled with personal documents, a mug filled with change, personal checks, an MP3 player and a camera worth around $600, which belonged to The Pioneer News.
What’s more, all of the businesses broken into reported property damage due to forced entry.
Mount Washington Police had no leads until Sgt. Rodney Hockenbury located The Pioneer News’ camera registered on the LeadsOnline Web database.
Officer Charles Ballard then discovered that the camera had been hocked at a pawn shop in Fern Creek.
After it was learned that Owen had pawned the camera, police brought her in for questioning at the Mount Washington Police Department.
Ballard, who was assigned to lead the investigation, said Owen and the minor fled to Louisville shortly after.
Once Owen and the minor were linked to the case, Louisville Metro Police found where Owen was residing in Louisville, according to LMPD Det. Aaron Tinelli.
Soon after, Det. Scott Claxon and the LMPD Flex narcotics team came upon the minor near the scene of a break-in that was under investigation.
Tinelli said LMPD was able to not only apprehend the minor, but lead Mount Washington police to the fourth suspect believed to be involved with the September burglaries.
After the minor was brought back to Bullitt County he refused to do an interview with police, but Tinelli said Mount Washington police convinced his mother to talk with law enforcement, which led them to where some of the stolen property was taken.
Within four weeks Mount Washinton’s case was solved with help from officers Mike Huffman, Rebecca Troutman, Casey Clark and Sgt. Scott Ballman.
In collaborating with MWPD’s investigation of the Sept. 29/30 break-ins, Tinelli said Louisville Metro police solved two burglary cases of their own.
“They really helped us out a lot,” Tinelli said.
The Mount Washington Police Department has now recovered 90 percent of the stolen property, including the $10,000 diagnostic scanner that was stolen from Mass Tire and Automotive. Ballard said the scanner was found at a service station in Louisville where it had been sold for $80.
The first vehicle stolen was recovered shortly after it was taken. The second vehicle stole was found a week later in Louisville.
Easley and Owen are being held at the Bullitt County Detention Center.
Owen is charged with receiving stolen property and second-degree forgery, while Easley is charged with two counts of first-degree burglary, seven counts of burglary in the third degree and one count of theft by unlawful taking/auto.
The juvenile is charged with 26 counts of first-degree burglary, third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, theft by unlawful taking/auto, second-degree forgery and theft by unlawful taking/all other.