Crime Tip: Do it While Cops Change Shifts


(Photo: Answers.com)
A string of break-ins at bars in Northside are particularly galling to the owners of a business that’s a one-minute drive from the area’s police station. It took officers more than 15 minutes to respond after their burglar alarm was activated — longer than it would take for police to walk there if they responded immediately.

Bronz, a nightclub on Hamilton Avenue formerly known as Jacob’s, was burglarized in the morning hours of Saturday, Feb. 24. Thieves took an undisclosed amount of cash and attempted to take some electronics equipment before moving a couple of doors down the street and robbing another nearby bar, Bullfishes.

The two bars are the latest in a series of Northside drinking establishments targeted by the thieves. In recent weeks, other bars that have been broken into include Ginger’s Bar & Lounge, the Gypsy Hut and the Fifth Amendment. One business, Boswell Alley, has been struck twice.

As with most of the thefts, the break-in at Bronz occurred during early daylight hours, shortly after 7:30 a.m. The club is located in the heart of Northside’s trendy business district, on the same street and just across a highway overpass from the nearest police station. MapQuest lists the club’s distance as 0.47 miles from the Cincinnati Police Department’s District 5 station, with an estimated driving time of one minute.

Of course, that takes into account obeying traffic lights. With lights and sirens on, police cruisers can travel through intersections, making the travel time less than 60 seconds.

Bradley Pugh, one of the club’s co-owners, says he’s walked the same distance in less time than it took police to arrive. Had officers responded more quickly, they perhaps could’ve caught the thieves in the act at Bronz or the bar next door.

“It’s a crock,” Pugh said. “It’s a seven-minute walk from my bar to District 5. I know, I’ve done it. There’s just no excuse.”

According to police, there is — albeit an unsatisfying one. The break-in occurred shortly after the shift change for officers and they were in roll call at the time.

“It’s horrible,” said Bronz co-owner John Schaefer, “I believe the thieves know that and time when they do it. The thieves are smarter than the cops, it seems.”

Detectives investigating the case told Pugh and Schaefer they held little hope that the case would be solved and suggested the pair buy a camera system so police could examine any images it captures in future break-ins.

Police suspect the Northside thefts might be connected to a series of break-ins at bars in Hyde Park.

— Kevin Osborne

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5 Comments on “Crime Tip: Do it While Cops Change Shifts”

  1. David Gallaher Says:

    I have nothing personally against any policeman or even the concept of police in general, but politicians continually try to sell the voting public on the myth that police are Dumbo’s feather which magically enables him to fly–which is to say, the solution for crime.
    Police are bureaucrats who come and document crimes after the fact.
    They also cause crime whenever they enforce vice laws.

  2. FOXYROXY Says:

    I wish I could say this surprises me, but sadly, it does not. This is not even nearly the 1st case in Northside I have witnessed or heard about where police were called and did not show up in an even remotely reasonable timeframe.

    What surprises me is that it took *only* 15 minutes–in one case it took 4.5 hours for them to show up for a report of a stolen vehicle, which last time I checked, is still a felony.

    Cincinnati cops show up to write a report for your insurance company. They are not here to catch bad guys. And even if they do catch bad guys, there is no jail space to keep them locked up in, so they will be back out before Barney’s next donut break.

    The great Cincinnati hamster wheel of “justice” just keeps on a-spinnin’…

  3. David Gallaher Says:

    Down where the Little Woman and I live (Pendleton neighborhood of OTR),
    I’ve been close to amazed at the rapid response of police. And I’ve seen them catch a few “perps.”
    That said, my point remains: Police still arrive after the fact plus they do not prevent crime. In fact they cause it to the extent they enforce insane vice laws.

  4. A Northsider Says:

    Not true for me, FoxyRoxy. When my car was stolen in front of my house, the cops were there within a couple minutes – and recovered the car and the thief within 3 hours.

    There have been many other minor calls to them over the past year (suspicous vehicles, loitering, etc.) and they normally respond quickly.

    I’ll bet the thieves are timing the break ins to the shirft change. Or maybe they are just lucky…

  5. bill Says:

    The police does prevent crime. A criminal won’t commit a crime if police are present. Police patrol all areas of the city 24/7. Take them off patrol and then watch the crime rate go up in all areas of the city and all areas of crime. The city needs more police officers and I support our police 100%.


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