Violent Crime Wave Has Portsmouth Police Overwhelmed

By: Randy Yohe Email
By: Randy Yohe Email

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio -- People are getting assaulted, robbed and shot as a violent crime wave -- that seems to be non-stop -- has one police department overwhelmed.

A midday armed bank robbery in Portsmouth happened while we were covering at least two other felony investigations.
A string of assaults and home invasions - and, what police say is a drug fueled double kidnapping.
The community is on edge - or fighting mad - and the police department is without a headquarters - scattered and splintered and overwhelmed beyond belief.

People couldn't do their midday banking because the PNC bank in Sciotoville was just robbed.
Police say a man handed a teller note that said he had a weapon, got some cash and fled on foot - on Main Street, in broad daylight.

Detective Jim Charles tells us; “He made no attempt to conceal his identity - had no mask. He was very bold.

Ora Branham told us how two masked gunmen smashed their way into friend Karlene Walker’s Walnut Street home Monday evening - and started beating the two people.
Ora Branham was frank; “I said what do you want? They said, where's the dope and where's the money?”

Last week, police say former Scioto County sheriff Jim Sutterfield was at his 6th street home when Jeremy Boysel broke in
The sheriff shot and wounded Boysel

And late Tuesday, police say two women at a Royal Inn back bungalow were bound and kidnapped, taken to another county, where they were robbed and left tied up.
Police arrested Bethany Sowards and Daniel Brown - two of a drug gang of six wanted for kidnapping.

And these detectives say getting force out of their headquarters by a toxic mold infestation - working in offices scattered around the city or in the cars, makes fighting a crime wave an overwhelming challenge.

Jim Charles says the department is ready to hire seven new officers - but there’s no time to do background checks.

There's so much violent crime, police can’t get to numerous breaking and entering calls from businesses and residents.

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