2 juveniles arrested in Darke County fairgrounds vandalism case

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m.: Two of three juveniles suspected of committing vandalism and thefts at the Darke County fairgrounds are in custody on charges unrelated to the fairgrounds investigation and have been taken to the West Central Juvenile Detention facility, sheriff's Detective Rodney Baker said in a prepared statement.

An officer with the Darke County Probation Department on Thursday recovered from a juvenile suspect property believed to have been stolen from the fairgrounds, Baker said. Sheriff’s detectives interviewed people throughout the day, identified the three suspects and recovered additional property stolen from the fairgrounds.

The sheriff’s office is continuing its investigation and is trying to identify theft victims and recover additional stolen property.

The 160th Great Darke County Fair begins today.

If you have any information about the vandalism and/or thefts at the fairgrounds, you are asked to contact the sheriff's office at 937-548-2020. You may also call Darke County Crime Stoppers at 937-547-1661 or darkecountycrimestoppers.com where you can remain anonymous.


People with tack boxes, lockers, campers, vehicles and concessions at The Great Darke County Fair in Greenville are being urged to “keep these items locked when unattended so as not to make it easy for thieves” after sheriff’s deputies confirm they are investigating reports of property damage and vandalism.

Our news partners with the Earlybird.com are reporting that several tack boxes in the swine barn have been broken into and vandals have hit the same barn, as well as concession stand door beneath the Grandstand.

There are no suspects. The incidents occurred when there were no sheriff’s patrols on the fairgrounds.

Sheriff’s Chief Detective Mark Whittaker said, “Once we learned of the events, full-time deputies patrolled the grounds when they could between calls.”

The contract for sheriff’s patrols began Wednesday and the sheriff’s office will have a constant presence at the fairgrounds — 24 hours a day — until the end of the fair. The 160th Great Darke County Fair begins Friday and continues through Aug. 27.

In 2014, fair officials were put on alert after nine rabbits were killed at the Preble County Fair in July of that year.

Whittaker urged people with tack boxes, lockers, campers, vehicles and concessions at the fair to “keep these items locked when unattended so as not to make it easy for thieves.”

He said the most important thing people can do is report crime or suspicious people right away if they see something.

“We can not be everywhere all the time and that is where citizens can make the difference,” Whittaker said. “We should work together as a community and show criminals that this behavior will not be tolerated.”

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