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Arrests made in city car break-ins

Two people were arrested Tuesday morning in connection with several car break-ins in Ironton.

Joey Barker, 33, of 409 Lane St., Coal Grove, and Mark Fritz, 28, of 1707 S. Sixth St., Ironton, were arrested at their homes by the Ironton Police Department.

Barker was charged with criminal damaging, misuse of credit cards, theft and three outstanding warrants. Fritz was charged with receiving stolen property and misuse of credit cards.

Detective Joe Ross said the two men allegedly worked together on the smash and grab-style crimes at local businesses.

The break-ins occurred June 22 at the Knights of Columbus, July 5 at the Moose Lodge and Aug. 9 at Buffalo Wild Wings.

During the break-ins, credit cards, cameras, purses, thumb drives and other personal items were taken from the victims’ cars.

Many of the items were recovered, including a camera and purse from the most recent incident. The victim and her husband were from Virginia and passing through Ironton, Ross said, and was happy to have her belongings retrieved.

“She was tickled to death,” Ross said.

Detective Mitch Crum said Barker was identified from surveillance camera footage.

“They knew exactly where to take the credit cards from, where there was no outside video,” Crum said. “But they made a mistake.”

The police department has investigated dozens of car break-ins over the past several months.

“It has taken up a lot of time and numerous amounts of reports,” Ross said.

Barker and Fritz are housed in the Lawrence County Jail and are scheduled to appear Thursday in Ironton Municipal Court.