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IPD ‘close’ to arrest in tire slasher case

After a crime spree left nearly 20 vehicles with slashed tires earlier this week, the Ironton Citizens Watch held a special meeting Wednesday night.

The meeting was supposed to be at 2709 S. Ninth St., but had to be moved to Ironton High School to accommodate the large number of people who wanted to attend.

During the meeting, ICW director Chad Gue, who is also a patrolman with the Ironton Police Department, discussed precautions citizens could take to prevent being a victim of vandalism or theft.

“The main thing is to make sure you’re not an easy target,” Gue said. “The No. 1 thing these criminals look for is opportunity. Lock your doors, don’t leave valuables in the car or in plain sight, and stay vigilant.”

Many people in attendance were curious about the progress of the investigation into the tire-slashing incident. Gue provided some insight, saying the IPD was close to an arrest and gave credit to a watchful citizen.

“I got a Facebook message from a resident with a name,” Gue said. “I’m not going to release that name, but we are close to an arrest. We’re close because of the information of a watchful citizen.”

Gue also discussed how important it was for citizens to be as descriptive as possible when calling in a potential crime.

“The more information the better,” Gue said. “We not only want the information that is going to make it easy for us to make an arrest but the information that is going to allow us to secure a conviction. We want to put criminals away.”

Gue said it is essential for the people of Ironton to work together with law enforcement. He also warned residents not to take the law into their own hands.

“We want the citizens to take an initiative,” he said. “The police work for the citizens, but sometimes we need to work with the citizens, too. What we don’t want though is to create vigilantes. If you see something call. We are trained and equipped for confrontations. Let us handle the criminals.”

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship was also in the meeting and said the turnout was encouraging.

“I’ve been to a few of these things,” Blankenship said. “This is by far the most people I have ever seen make it out to one of these. Hopefully, more and more people will continue to get involved.”