IPD catches alleged burglar under house

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

A burglar who allegedly struck two homes in Ironton Saturday stuck around a little longer than he should have and was collared by quick-footed police officers.

Jeffrey Rowe, 50, of Ironton, was arrested in the vicinity of the 2000 block of South Fifth Street after two residents told police Rowe had gotten into their homes and taken their pain medication and then hid under one home until he was caught by the homeowner.

Rowe was taken first to the Ironton Police Department and then to an area hospital after complaining of illness.

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“We had gone out into the country, went to the lake and were gone a couple of hours,” one victim, Beverly Hewitt explained. “When we came home I was putting stuff away and I noticed the basement door was open and I hollered to my husband ‘somebody’s been in our house,’” she said.

After finding medication missing, the Hewitts called the police. Ironton patrolman Steve Wilson came to the residence and filed a report.

After Wilson left, Hewitt said her husband went looking for the burglar, convinced he was still in the area. Beverly Hewitt said they found Rowe under their house, which is how they believe he gained entry to the house. Police were called a second time.

“I chased him probably 100 yards and he refused

(to stop) and I had to taze him,” Ironton police Sgt. Beth Rist said.

George Wicker, who lives next door, said someone broke into his house, too, and took medication.

“He left a pistol laying there but he took my pills,” Wicker said.

“All he wanted was the drugs,” Hewitt said. “I’m disgusted.”

Hewitt said Rowe rented a building from her and that’s how he knew about possible medication being kept at the residence.

Both Hewitt and Wicker agreed to have their names printed for a reason: both will now need to go to their doctors and ask for new prescriptions for pain medication and do not want their doctors to suspect them of abusing pain pills.

While Hewitt and Wicker stood in front of their homes talking about the incident, another area resident who had heard about Rowe’s arrest approached them to discuss the recent break-in at a relative’s house nearby. That break-in occurred Friday.

The Coal Grove Police Department, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and South East Ohio Emergency Medical Services also were involved in incident.