Off-duty officer helps nab suspects

EAST LIVERPOOL – An observant off-duty police officer helped his colleagues nab two suspects in a rash of breaking and entering incidents at local businesses.

Police have had reports of several thefts from businesses along the Ohio River with computers, a riding lawn mower and a golf cart among items taken.

Off-duty K-9 officer Chad Tatgenhorst and his family were entering a local restaurant Saturday when he noticed two juveniles riding a golf cart down the street and, recollecting a golf cart was among the items taken, contacted his department.

Captain Darin Morgan responded and made a traffic stop on the golf cart, and the two 17-year-olds were brought in for questioning.

According to Detective Greg Smith, “We talked to them, and they cracked,” admitting to not only taking the golf cart but the other items.

The lawn mower had been driven just a short way from River Rail Terminal from which it was taken and dumped over the river bank. A worker from a nearby company had seen it and, thinking it was junked, taken it home.

Officers located the man and he returned the lawn mower to the company.

Smith said all but one of the computers have also been returned so far.

The juveniles, who are from the city, are facing charges in Juvenile Court.

“Between Chad and Darin, it all fell into place,” Smith said.