Courthouse target of break-in

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The offices of the Lawrence County Clerk of Courts and auto title department were closed Monday while investigators with Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation assisted investigators with the sheriff’s department in determining who broke into the county courthouse over the weekend, stealing money and damaging property.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless said courthouse employees discovered the building was broken into when they arrived at work Monday morning.

Surveillance video shows what appears to be a male suspect wearing a mask and gloves breaking into to building from the South Fourth Street entrance, wandering around the first and second floors before returning to the first floor, at which time he entered the clerk of courts office.

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The suspect was able to get money from a safe in the office as well as from soda machines and an ATM machine in the lobby. The machines were damaged as a result.

“It wasn’t huge sums of money, but that number hasn’t been reported back to me yet,” Lawless said.

Lawless said investigators were looking for fingerprints and DNA evidence to try and identify the suspect.

“When I got the phone call this morning, I was shocked thinking, why would someone do something like this?” Lawless said. “In this day and time, no one is safe from crime.”