‘Spike’ in home invasions after photos of cash posted on social media

Anthony Wells (left) and Isaac Leturgez, both 21 from Middletown, are charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.
Anthony Wells (left) and Isaac Leturgez, both 21 from Middletown, are charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary.

Middletown police are warning residents not to post photos of “large sums of money” on social media after three recent home invasions.

Middletown has seen a “spike” in home invasions, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

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A common factor in some of the cases is victims who posted photos of large sums of cash on social media or showed it to friends, according to police.

“If you find yourself in possession of a large sum of money do not pose with the money so others can share the joy you are feeling because of your good fortune; one of the viewers could become jealous and decide to take the money away,” the department wrote on Facebook.

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Here are three recent home invasions fitting the profile, according to police reports obtained by the Journal-News:

1. Visitors turned alleged robbers saw cash

On Friday, Middletown officers responded to a home in the 2000 block of Van Avenue for a home invasion. Two men wearing masks came into the house with guns and robbed the resident of $2,000 and took his shotgun, police said.

The robbers allegedly used a key to get into the house and one of the people involved was in the house the night before and saw the cash, police said.

Isaac Leturgez and Anthony Wells, both 21 from Middletown, were charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, according to a police report.

A 17-year-old is also charged, police said. The teen told police he provided the key to the residence.

A loaded .45-caliber handgun was used during the robbery and it was recovered, according to Maj. Scott Reeve.

Detective Jon Rawlins is working this case. Call him at 513-425-7742 if you have any information on the incident.

2. Woman posted vacation savings on social media

On June 6, officers responded to the 300 block of Bellemonte Street and the resident advised said three men about 18 to 20 years old woke him up, struck him in the face with the butt of a shotgun, and dragged them into the living room demanding to know where he kept his money, the post said.

A woman had posted photos of $3,000 in cash that the couple had saved for vacation.

Detective Jon Hoover is working this case. Anyone with information should call him at 513-425-7796.

3. Intruders knew location of home’s safe

On Monday, officers responded to a home in the 4000 block of Lewis Street, where residents reported that when they got home they were met by three males dressed in black wearing masks and displaying guns.

A man was pistol whipped and the masked intruders immediately went to a back room where a safe was located, according to police.

While photos may not have been posted on social media, clearly the intruders knew where the safe was located and the home owners recognized one of the men and knew his first name, police said.

Detective Dave Creech is working this case, and anyone with information is asked to call him at 513-425-7745.