Four counties to form task force after several burglaries

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Law enforcement in four counties plan to form a task force to stop a group of burglars.

In Bath County, officials are investigating seven break-ins over a two day period. In these cases, the thieves targeted business and homes. The Fleming County Sheriff's Office is looking into seven similar burglary cases. The Montgomery County Sheriff says they have four similar break-ins and believes the burglars are also responsible for some more thefts in Clark County.

"We found it was the same people, we think are doing all the burglaries," says Montgomery Sheriff Fred Shortridge.

In most of these cases, investigators say the burglars are targeting homes during the day while people are at work.

"It's the same old pattern, they go up and if somebody answers the door, they've got an excuse. And they're just knocking on the door. If no one answers, they're taking the chance and kicking the door in and committing the burglaries," adds Shortridge.

The burglars were caught on surveillance camera at one Montgomery County home. In the video, the crooks eventually come out of the hoe with valuables and take off in a green getaway car. Sheriff Shortridge says that car is now impounded and two of the suspects are in jail.

Sheriff's deputies in Montgomery County arrested 30-year-old, Rhonda Ballard, and 30-year-old, Wayne Cody Donathan. Sheriff Shortridge says they're looking for two other suspected burglars, Brandon and Daniel Staton.

Sheriff Shortridge says they've recovered some of the stolen property at area pawn shops, "We found some flat screen TVs that had been taken, obviously jewelry that can be sold and melted down pretty quick."

In Bath County, there were reports of some guns being taken from a home.

"I think they're cashing in. We got information that the guns were being traded for some drugs and my understanding, they may be taken up north which is not really good because they're in the hands of now drug dealers," says Shortridge.

Shortridge says these suspected burglars have been in trouble for similar crimes before.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Department is asking anyone who may have purchased property from any of the listed individuals without knowing it was stolen, to contact them. They hope to return the property to the individual owners.

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