All posts for the month January, 2017

Bomb threat at PNC Bank closed 1st Ave, schools locked down (with update on suspect)

Published January 31, 2017 by justicewg

first-closed-bombA bomb threat at the PNC Bank on First Ave. caused the closing of the street and lockdowns at all the school buildings in Grandview Heights this afternoon.

The schools were put in lockdown at 1:45 PM, the robbery must have occurred shortly before. The Columbus bomb squad was on the scene to determine if a bag left at the scene contained a bomb (the debris from a ripped apart bag was seen in front of the bank, I assume that means that it was a false alarm).pnc-bank-bomb

The school called off the lockdown at 3:45 PM, allowing a late return of kids from the schools to their homes.

From CH10 TV – “Police described the suspect as a white male who walked into the bank demanding money and said he had a bomb. The suspect then left a bag at the bank.”

Ch28 has photos of the suspect who robbed the bank then left a bag.

More info posted on the Grandview City blog.

Feb 14 update

The Grandview Heights police announced they have a suspect in custody. Karl Schlenker, 60, of Cranford, New Jersey, was arrested at his home without incident.

Lots of questions about this guy remaining – why travel all the way to Grandview? He doesn’t fit the profile of your average bank robber (most are younger), if the quick search I did was correct, he used to have a  Senior Sales and Marketing Leadership Position at IBM Corporation. How did he get found so quickly? My guess – he drove a car to Columbus, then parked it somewhere east of the bank (he was reported to be heading east). Possibly he walked past a surveillance camera on Grandview Ave. with his hat off and no sun glasses, and they got enough of a picture to match him on some database. Maybe he parked wrong (any parking east of Grandview Ave. is permit only), and someone took notice of his out of state license. More to come on the grey-haired bank robber.


I searched and found a Karl R Schlenker, 60, of Cranford, New Jersey, who is listed as the owner of the house at 818 Springfield Ave. I may be wrong, but I think this is his home, as of 2015 on Google maps.


A very nice home, in a good neighborhood, any of the homes on this street would fit into Grandview with no problem.

(Feb 16 update) Schlenker was returned to Franklin Co.,  posted bond, and has been released. Normally someone who is released from serious charges is required to stay in the area, so Schlenker may be walking the streets of Grandview.

karl-schlenker-indited(Feb 23) Karl Schlenker was indicted on two counts of robbery and inducing panic. That stare into the camera – is he saying, “yea, I robbed yus bank, so what?” (trying for a New Jersey accent).


(Later) A reader found the info on the case, Schlenker plead guilty and was sentenced to 4 years, 9 months in jail. He is still appealing the sentence (from jail), if I am reading the casework correctly. Also, prior convictions were mentioned in the sentencing, so this was not a guy who just broke bad at 60 years old.


Thieves stealing Grandview car wheels in daylight

Published January 19, 2017 by justicewg

Police in Grandview have reported that thieves stole the wheels from 5 vehicles in the past week. What makes these thefts unusual is that most happened in full daylight, on streets and parking lots that were open and in view of any passing car. I have some theories about how the tire heists were done, but first a solution that will keep your wheels safe (probably).

Wheel Locking Lugs are inexpensive

wheel-locksThe cheapest way to secure your wheels is a set of locking lugs, $20 to $30 will provide moderate security (if thieves want your expensive rims, they will find a way). The lugs are easy to install by yourself, just remove one nut from each wheel, slip the locking key on top of the replacement lug, and tighten to specs. for your car. You will need to keep the security key in a safe place (not the glove compartment, thieves know to look inside). You will also need to use the key to remove the wheel if you break down on the side of the road, so don’t lose it!

Guessing the M.O.

The news reports listed some similarities in all of the thefts, this gives us some clues to understand how they got away with these bold tire ripoffs.

Both wheels on one side of the vehicle were taken. There were bricks or blocks left under the cars. And the daylight thefts would have required speed – they probably had the wheels off and were thrown into the getaway car within a few minutes. I’m not an expert, but I have changed enough tires to make some good guesses.

The getaway vehicle was driven up to the side of the target car, and parked. They could have used a van, and opened the side door, to have quick access to the tools. Parking close to the target gave them some cover, and blocked the view for 180 degrees.

The first guy pulled a floor jack out and placed it under the side of the car, centered between the wheels. This allowed him to lift the whole side of the car in one motion, and allowed the removal of both wheels on one side.

The second man was working on the first tire while the car was being jacked up, popping off the hub caps and loosening the nuts. He probably used a battery powered impact driver, which could have the nuts off within a minute (something like the air wrenches used in garages, but quieter). As the jack man finished, the wrench man moved down to the second wheel and started on that set of nuts. Meanwhile, the other guy was finishing removal of the tire and throws it into the van. The nut removal guy finishes the second wheel, and moves it out of the way. The jack man has been placing blocks under the exposed brakes. They throw the second tire inside, drop the car onto the blocks, and slide the jack out and into the van.

Total time might be no more than 5 minutes for a well practiced couple of thieves.

I’m not too sure how they avoided setting off car alarms, most of them contain tilt sensors that are triggered by lifting the car. Possibly the thieves check for alarms before they start? And how can they avoid being seen by passing cars? Somebody is going to see something, and report to the police the make and model of the getaway vehicle. I’m guessing by that time the crew will have moved on to the next city.

No matter if these guys are caught, you need locking nuts to protect your car, if you don’t want to walk out one morning and find your wheels missing.

(April 11 update) GHPD caught a tire thief in the act, he had already removed the tires from one car and was in the process on a second when the police caught him. I’m surprised this was one person, he must have been really good at removing wheels to get away with it by himself.

(April 27 update) The same guy was allegedly dragging a cop while he attempted to flee in his car, and was shot and killed by the officer.

Grandview board selects controversial Truett for President

Published January 14, 2017 by justicewg

truett-at-visioningThe Grandview school board voted to place Jessie Truett into the president position at the January 2017 organizational meeting. This is a completely nonsensical move from a board that should be avoiding controversy while they gear up for requesting the community to build new schools.

Truett is the most controversial member of the board, due to his resignation from his job as the high school principal back in 2011. The short version – Truett suddenly resigned with a weak explanation about personal and health reasons, later it came out that he started an affair with an 18 year old student while he was a 23 year old teacher at Westerville. State law says that sexual conduct with a student, regardless of the student’s age, is considered sexual battery, and could lead to jail time. Truett voluntarily surrendered his teaching license to the state board of education.

Mr Truett now works for OAPCS, promoting charter schools. Ohio had many scandals involving charter schools, some observers think that the top reason that Kasich failed his run for president was the constant news of fraud and failure from Ohio charter schools. Truett’s job is to push for more charter schools, and weaken public schools.

Watch Truett in action at a board meeting

What will it be like with Jessie Truett in charge of the school board? We have a video that allows us to see direct evidence of how he will conduct the business of the school, and how he will respond to comments from the community, All of the links in the following take you directly to the section of the video being discussed.

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