Police searching for suspect in multiple car, credit card thefts across Tri-State

FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) - Police are looking for a man they believe stole cars and credit cards in multiple cities across the Tri-State.

The crime spree began at the Richard E. Lindner YMCA in Norwood Wednesday morning, police say. A man went inside the building and stole a 73-year-old woman's car keys while she was working out. He was captured on security camera footage.

"He was brazen enough that he didn't care. He's looking at the camera almost," said Lt. Rich Whitford with Fort Thomas Police.

Then, police said, the man headed south in the woman's stolen car and ended up at the YMCA in Campbell County. Upon arriving there, investigators believe the suspect parked the woman's car in the lot and used her ID card to walk into the facility and walk around. They said he even interacted with employees.

"They tried to help him, showing him some things, showing him some items," Whitford said.

When the moment felt right, investigators believe the man snagged a second set of car keys from a cubbyhole at the Campbell County YMCA and jumped in that vehicle. They said suspect found the victim's wallet in the car and departed for a new destination.

"He went straight to Dick's in Newport and used (the victim's) stolen credit card to purchase items and is now on the run," Whitford said.

The man is now missing and so is the second stolen car. It belongs to Marquita Lonaker and her husband.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," Lonaker said. "It's something you hear about all the time, but it never happens to you -- until it does."

The crimes may be connected to more cases.

"Cincinnati police are looking for a suspect fitting the same description for two car thefts from YMCAs in their districts on a Sunday and Monday," Whitford said.

The man is looking at four possible felonies in four different cities.

"Hoping somebody calls and turns this guy in," Lonaker said.

Lonaker said she and her husband canceled the stolen credit card and are taking extra safety measures. They hope they get their vehicle back.

The 73-year-old woman has been reunited with her vehicle.

Once police identify the man, Whitford said there will likely be warrants for his arrest in Fort Thomas, Newport, Cincinnati, and Norwood.

Whitford said it is possible the man could be connected to even more crimes.

If you recognize him or see him or the stolen vehicle, call the police. Investigators said it's best to not approach him.

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