String of rest area robberies in Ohio may be related

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Monday, November 16, 2015

A rest area robbery on Interstate 71 in Ohio that occurred on Thursday, Nov. 12, may be related to several other rest area robberies in central Ohio, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Last Thursday, a trucker was robbed of approximately $1,200 at knifepoint at a rest area on I-71 in Delaware County. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol Spokesperson Lt. Craig Cvetan, Thursday’s robbery may be linked to approximately 10 other rest area robberies in central Ohio in the past 12 months.

“There are several similarities in the way the robberies are being executed, and that’s part of our investigation to determine whether there is a link between these robberies,” Lt. Cvetan told Land Line.

Lt. Cvetan could not say how many were truck drivers, but acknowledged that truckers are likely to be victims based on how much more they use rest areas than other motorists. He also noted how truck drivers are also more likely to notice abnormal behavior at rest areas and should report any suspicious activity.

“The rest areas are there for people to stop and get a break from the roadway, use the restroom, eat some lunch, whatever they need to do,” Lt. Cvetan said. “If you see any kind of actions or people doing things outside of those kind of things, then that is something you should report to the highway patrol.”

With investigations still ongoing, Lt. Cvetan could not release any details of the rest area robberies, including similarities within the crimes to look for. He did note that when it comes to these types of crimes, there is no specific time or day of week when robberies are more or less likely to occur.

“With robberies, it’s a crime of opportunity and people that are attempting to commit these criminal violations are probably going to look at what their best opportunity is,” Lt. Cvetan said. “They may be looking at a time when the rest area is busiest thinking there are more victims or they may target areas when there’s not so many people so that there’s not a chance of being identified.”

Anyone in who spots suspicious activity at a rest area in Ohio should call the nearest patrol dispatch center by dialing #677.

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