BLUE ASH, OH (FOX19) - On Friday, Blue Ash Police said they busted a multi-county theft operation. They recovered around $100,000 worth of stolen property and took one man into custody.
Those who work in the lot on Carlyn Drive in Blue Ash had quite a surprise when they arrived to work Friday morning and saw more than 20 cop cars in the parking lot.
"I thought there was a fire or something like that. I never dreamed there was a search warrant and there was that much police force for whatever they were looking for," said Phillip Day, who works at a printing company near the garage.
Police came to the garage to find 39-year-old David Durham.
When they got inside the building police found him - plus an excavator, boxes of new cabinets, a water heater and several other stolen goods.
"There's several generators and things like that one individual running a business probably wouldn't have a need for. To us it indicated that there's a criminal enterprise going on there," said Chief Paul Hartinger, with the Blue Ash Police Department.
Police said Durham broke into several construction sites in four different communities including a hotel construction site on Cornel Park Drive in Blue Ash.
Police identified him with surveillance video and said it appeared he targeted the sites at night.
"The workers had gone home for the evening. Maybe for the weekend and the person had basically free rein to go in and take anything he wanted," said Chief Hartinger.
Police said there is a market on the dark web to sell items like the ones they recovered. Chief Hartinger said thieves are often looking for an easy target.
"In this case even if it's a big ticket item. It's an easy opportunity to pull up load them on a trailer and leave," he said.
Most of the items reported stolen have been recovered.
The Blue Ash Police Department is reminding businesses to lock up their equipment overnight and for residents to report anything that doesn't look right.
Durham is facing breaking and entering charges. Police said he also has several outstanding warrants for crimes including theft.
They said this investigation is ongoing to see if more people were involved in the operation.