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Buena Vista police busy with homicides, fraud probes

(WJRT)
Published: Dec. 10, 2019 at 5:16 PM EST
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(12/10/2019) - Being a police officer is not an easy job, but the Buena Vista Township Police Department is feeling a bit overwhelmed as it begins another murder investigation.

A man was shot to death in Buena Vista Township on Monday night. Police still don't have a suspect in custody.

This comes as the small department works to solve several other major crimes.

The fifth homicide in Buena Vista Township this year happened in the 3100 block of Mysylvia Drive just west of I-75, when a man and his mom were in their home and two masked men came inside.

Buena Vista Township Police Chief Reggie Williams said they ended up in a tussle.

"Confrontation inside the house, the victim ran outside, witnesses heard about 10 to 15 shots," Williams said.

Richard Townsend Jr., 26, died from the shooting. His mother was not injured. Robbery is a possible motive for the killing.

Townsend was on probation for a November conviction of carrying a concealed weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.

Police in the township, which has a population of about 8,500, are still working on the four other homicide cases from this year, including searching for suspects involved in the murder of Antoinesha Helton, whose body was found in her burned home this past June.

"They are major crimes especially for a community this size," Williams said.

It's not just homicides that has the police department busy.

Police are still doing the paperwork on what is turning into a major credit card fraud case, in which a McDonald's worker was taking pictures of the front and backs of debit and credit cards of drive-thru customers.

The employee was arrested last week but released pending further investigation, an investigation that will take a back seat to this latest murder.

"It's definitely taxing, when you, like you said, our manpower right now, 13 officers, one detective and she is working every case as hard as she can," Williams said.

Anyone with information on this latest homicide is asked to call the Buena Vista Township Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-422-JAIL.

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