Mayor's Home Among Places Hit in String of Thefts in Olive Hill

OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The drug problem in Olive Hill has been well documented.

Last November, Mayor Danny Sparks was arrested and charged with selling marijuana.

The new mayor, Kenny Fankell, has now been affected by the drug problem in a personal way.

Police say someone broke into his home June 20 in broad daylight while he was at work and stole several items.

"I lost knives and a ring my late wife had given me 25 years ago," Fankell said.

That theft was just one of many recently in his neighborhood and across town.

Olive Hill police say thieves have stolen property out of more than 15 cars on Jordan Heights Junction, stolen items out of garages, and even took a stereo and microwave from a yard sale.

"They're pretty hard up when they steal from a yard sale," the owner of the home where the yard sale theft took place, Marjorie Hensley, said.

Monday night police arrested Shawn Ison and Anthony Caldwell in connection with some of the thefts.

Ison and Caldwell are charged with theft by unlawful taking. Police say they're believed to be involved in the car thefts, but not the break-in at the mayor's house.

They say the pair was caught on one of the neighbors' security cameras.

Officer R.D. Porter with the Olive Hill Police Department says those two and other suspects involved in the thefts have an obvious connection with drugs.

"I believe it is all related to the pill problem," Porter said.

Mayor Fankell now has a new personal reason to want to clean up town.

"We are trying to rid the problem, but it's going to take time," Fankell said.

Fankell had served on city council 12 years before being appointed to serve the remainder of Mayor Sparks' term.

Fankell says he believes the burglary was random, and he was not targeted because of his position.

Police say they have other suspects.

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