COVINGTON — Law enforcement is continuing to search for a suspect who drove an allegedly stolen vehicle into a Covington home Friday morning. The suspect is now believed to be in southern Ohio.
A pursuit with the suspect first began on the 500 block of South Street in Piqua at approximately 6:12 a.m. Friday, when there was a report of a stolen truck. According to Major Steve Lord of the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect passed a deputy at the intersection of Peterson and Farrington roads, and a pursuit then ensued on Farrington Road.
The pursuit came to an end at the intersection of Troy Pike (State Route 41) and High Street (State Route 48) in Covington, where the vehicle crashed into a house. The vehicle broke through the wall of the house in the crash. The single occupant of the home was not injured.
The suspect reportedly fled on foot. The Miami County Sheriff’s Office called in a K-9 unit in an attempt to locate the suspect.
Later, a call came in at approximately 8:23 a.m. Friday of another theft in progress in which a truck on Covington-Gettysburg Road was reported stolen. Deputies believe this vehicle — a 2007 green Ford F150 — possibly was taken by the same suspect.
The Miami County Sheriff’s Office believes the suspect made it into southern Ohio by Friday afternoon. The license plates from the stolen green Ford truck were found north of Cincinnati, and different license plates were apparently stolen from another vehicle.
Deputies were continuing to search for him and the stolen Ford truck as of press time.
The suspect is believed to be a white male of medium build wearing dark clothing. The suspect is also not believed to be dangerous or violent.
“We don’t have any reason to believe this person is armed and dangerous,” Lord said.
Covington schools were under a brief but limited lockdown Friday morning due to the pursuit and the suspect being at large.
Covington Superintendent Gene Gooding explained that students were not in a full-blown lockdown situation, but the administration kept students inside and was not allowing them to travel between the high school and the K-8 building.
Gooding said the school day began at around 8 a.m. and that the doors generally open at around 7:40 a.m., but they were allowing any students who showed up early to immediately enter the building.
“The external doors are always locked,” Gooding said. “As soon as anyone showed up at the building, we brought them in the building.”
There was also an emergency team in place as staff members manned each of the doors while students attended class. Gooding commended the Covington Police Department for keeping them informed so that Covington schools could best react for the safety of their students.
“The Covington Police were wonderful in their communication with us,” Gooding said. “The safety of our students is our absolute number one concern.”
Covington schools ended their heightened security and limited mobility for the students shortly after 9 a.m.
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