Last updated: August 23. 2013 12:05PM - 77 Views

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FORT RECOVERY — The investigation into two similar crimes has Mercer County residents on edge and police hustling to keep up with tips and rumors.Deputies with the Mercer County Sheriff's Office have received more than 100 tips in the past week, all related to the search for the people who broke in to a Mendon home and terrorized the father and daughter who lived there. The nature of the crime and its similarity to a November case in which criminals raided a Fort Recovery homes and killed the father and daughter living there, has residents on high alert, said Sheriff Jeff Grey.“Citizens continue to call in suspicious activity and vehicles that fit the description of the vehicle described. Citizens are doing their part to help us catch those responsible,” Grey said.Robert Grube and Colleen Grube were killed Nov. 29 in their home. Grey said there is evident that at least one male and one female were present. It is possible there were more. William Fair and Kathy Fair were attacked Feb. 26 in their home. According to witnesses, there were two males and one female. One male and one female wore masks over their faces while the second male did not, Grey said. The composite of that unmasked male has been circulated in local media. That image and the description of a dark “boxy” SUV with loud exhaust the robbers were driving at the time have prompted most of the tips, Grey said.Community anxiety came to a head Saturday night when a report of a suspicious vehicle prompted a panic.The call, which came in at 8:27 p.m. Saturday, was just the report of a vehicle with loud exhaust on state Route 119. There was no description of the vehicle other than a loud exhaust and that it went slowly through the area multiple times. A deputy was dispatched to try to locate the vehicle, Grey said. A second caller reported that a man was seen near a barn at a residence. The resident of the property said he was asked by the male to come over to him, but when the resident asked who he was, there was no reply. The resident did not see a vehicle, but when he entered the house to call the Sheriff's Office, he heard a loud vehicle drive by. The man in question was not seen after that.Word of the incident spread, causing a panic among residents and a distraction for police, Grey said. “While incidents of this nature certainly heighten concern at this point, there is no indication that this is related to either the Grube case or the Fair case,” Grey said. “We encourage people to continue to contact the Sheriff's Office or their local police department when they see or hear something suspicious, but we ask that people refrain from sending emails that will alarm an already concerned public. We will keep the public informed.”Grey said Mercer County Detective Doug Timmerman has been assigned the lead on the Grube investigation and Detective Lance Crum is the lead on the Fair home invasion. Agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting in both investigations. Several items of evidence remain at the state crime lab on the Grube case and several items from the Fair case have been submitted.


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