Dayton OH April 26 2013 The drug bust Tuesday at an auto dealership detail shop near the Dayton Mall is the latest in a series of police investigations close to one of the region’s busiest retail shopping areas where 10,000 people visit a day.
Still officials say the recent drug arrests around the mall are part of a larger problem, rather than unique to the popular commercial center.
“The Dayton Mall area has been a focal point of late,” said Sgt. Mike Brem, head of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the RANGE task force said Wednesday. “But drug trafficking is a problem throughout the whole county.”
In the past month, federal authorities and regional drug task forces have arrested seven people on heroin, cocaine and other drug charges around the mall.
A 20-year-old Dayton man died at a drive through just south of the mall in a shoot-out with the FBI during a drug investigation. In another case, authorities said four people arrested at a nearby hotel were making 50 to 100 drug deals a day in parking lots around the mall.
“Right now it seems to be a variety of operations. The investigation will reveal if any of those will be linked together,” Brem said.
Everyday more than 26,000 drivers pass the mall’s main intersection, Springboro Pike and Ohio 725, just east of Interstate 75, according to traffic counts. More than 2,000 work in the mall itself, according to mall officials.
“It is a strong retail area that has been very successful and will continue to be very successful,” said Chris Kershner, vice president public policy and economic development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. “You have drug problems unfortunately in any major metropolitan area.”
Rather than a focal point, officials said the drug busts in the mall area were symptoms of a regional, if not national opiate epidemic.
“The problem is everywhere,” said Dave Duebber, manager of the mall. “If they think it’s not, they’ve got their head in the sand.”
Tuesday’s arrests near the 117-acre mall, which has 150 surveillance cameras, concerns some area residents.
Amanda Littrell of West Carrollton said she fears there’s more illicit drug activity going on.
“It makes me very nervous and very concerned especially for my children. I don’t want them growing up in that type of atmosphere,” Littrell said. “I’m relieved that some people have been caught, but I know there’s a lot more out there.”
As a result of Tuesday’s arrests by the task force at Matt Castrucci’s Auto Mall of Dayton, Larry Brown, 52, of Dayton and Reginald A. Colvard, 40, of Cincinnati, remain in the Montgomery County Jail Wednesday, charged with conspiring to distribute in excess of 28 grams of crack cocaine.
source- Dayton Daily News
Mall security, police nab jewelry thief http://www.privateofficer.com
Montgomery County Prosecutors on Thursday, Feb, 26, approved a fourth-degree felony grand theft charge against Trevor L. Holloway, 37.
Holloway, of Cincinnati, and an accomplice were arrested Wednesday afternoon outside on Osterman Jewelry Store said Maj. John DiPietro of the Miami Twp. police.
The man with Holloway has yet to be charged.
“By the time they left the store got in their car and got to 741 and 725, we were on top of them,” DiPietro said. “I’m very proud of how well our system worked in this case.”
DiPietro said a pair of men entered the Osterman Jewelers in the Dayton Mall shortly before 5 p.m. and asked to see a Rolex watch that was on display. When the store clerk removed the watch from the case, one of the men snatched it, and they ran from the mall.
DiPietro said that thanks to a grant from the Homeland Security Department, the Miami Twp. police have sophisticated communication links to the Dayton Mall. He said the department has access to video surveillance camera images from mall security and direct radio links to the mall’s major retailers.
“The idea is to make the mall a harder target for terrorists, but the system has a lot of day-to-day benefits when it comes to controlling crime,” DiPietro said.
DiPietro said a pair of officers patrolling near the mall were in radio contact with mall security moments after the theft occurred and were able to spot the suspects at the main intersection just northwest of the mall parking area.
The officers found the stolen watch in the car and also found drugs and cash, DiPietro said.