Campbell Co. police catch burglars accused of stealing lunch meat, samurai swords

By Sara Celi – bio | email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) - Campbell County detectives have a property room full of stolen stuff they say a gang of thieves took from at least 16 businesses in the last week.

"We have a lot of tobacco products, smokes, cigarettes," says one detective as he looks through the loot.

"It's kind of mind boggling, really. You'd think it would be TV's and stuff like that," says Det. Ryan Markus.

Fortune cookies, Chinese fans, hair care products, samurai swords, even lunch meat round out the loot from a three person theft ring the police took down on Monday. Police say the ring systematically burglarized businesses all over Northern Kentucky. Most of the crimes happened at night.

"They would drive by, shoot the window out of a building, shoot it with a .22, break the window with it, see if an alarm went off. If the alarm did no go off, then either that night or the next right they would come back and burglarize the place," says Keith Hill of the Campbell County police department.

Campbell County police discovered the theft ring after a chase through county streets Monday morning around 3 a.m. They thought the driver might be linked to burglary at the Sun Valley Pizza. Gary Vanover, the driver, wrecked his car and ran. Campbell County police caught him. That's how police found out Vanover, Justin Mariani, and a 17-year-old girl had burglarized shops and restaurants all over Northern Kentucky. Detectives say all three confessed to the crimes.

"Let's face it's. It's a profit. They stole it for money, and they stole it to sell. Any way they could make a profit. If they made five dollars, they made five dollars," said Hill.

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