Smash and grab crime spree in northeast Franklin County


The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is investigating three crimes at one company in the same week.

Offense reports reveal the trouble began last Thursday at Awesome Family Entertainment in the 2500 block of Johnstown Road northeast of the city of Columbus.

Owner, Curtis Lovell, said a store manager came to work Friday morning and discovered someone smashed out a window to a company van and stolen a gas credit card. Lovell said he tried to take the incident in stride, but the thieves returned just before 2 a.m. Monday morning and used a cement block to smash through the front door. This time they stole five generators worth thousands of dollars.

Surveillance cameras inside the store failed to capture the suspects' faces because they wrapped T-shirts around their heads, but a camera outside the business captured a clear shot of one the suspects.

"They actually went and took the shirt off to make a mask," Lovell said.

Sheriff's investigators hope someone can help identify the man caught on camera because detectives say less than an hour after the smash and grab crime at the party store, someone bashed a rock through the door of an upholstery shop in the 2300 block of Johnstown Road. A sheriff's offense report shows the thief made off with $3,000 worth of tools.

Lovell said his business was targeted again late Tuesday or early this morning when someone drove a pick up truck onto the property and drove off with an equipment trailer valued at about $4,000 The third crime also was caught on camera.

Lovell said he's spent 22-years building a successful business as an event planner.

"So when someone comes in and busts through your front door into your dreams of 20-something years ... it is a huge violation," he said.

Sheriff's investigators say if you have any information about the crimes, please call the detective bureau at 614-525-3351.

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