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Martins Ferry car break-ins near 30

Chief also talks coronavirus

MARTINS FERRY — Martins Ferry police are investigating a rash of vehicle break-ins that occurred late Sunday into Monday morning, Chief John McFarland said.

McFarland said his investigators believe just one person was involved with the crime that left between 20 and 30 vehicles ransacked on several different streets, including Seabrights Lane, Eighth Street, Carlisle Street north, a portion of Cemetery Road, North Sixth Street and Wood Lane.

“All the vehicles reported being broken into were unlocked,” McFarland said. “This happens every so often, and we encourage people to take valuables out of their vehicles and to lock their vehicles.”

He said officers are studying home surveillance videos of the suspect, but those who may have footage are encouraged to share it with the department if they have not already.

McFarland said some of the items the suspect took from cars included change, debit cards and cash.

“This isn’t the first time this has happened. We’ve made arrests before, and at times we haven’t made arrests. It’s aggravating. I wish it wouldn’t happen, but it does,” he said.

Meanwhile, McFarland said his department is doing the best it can to work during the coronavirus pandemic. He said staffing levels are normal, and his officers already rode one person to a cruiser. Officers continue to sanitize equipment and their hands to help prevent the spread of germs.

“We had a couple people off sick with general illness, not the coronavirus. We’re being cautious and disinfecting and sanitizing. We’re doing our part to keep everyone safe,” McFarland said.

He said he wants to encourage people to stay home if they don’t need to go out.

“We need to beat this. We definitely don’t need it here in town or in the Ohio Valley. I pray for everyone’s health and well-being,” McFarland said.

He noted he is looking forward to life getting back to normal for everyone as well.

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