Crime Tip: Do it While Cops Change Shifts
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