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Oxford Exchange Club Honors OPD’s Rachel Ratcliffe as Officer of the Month

By Rick Hynum
for Hottytoddy.com

Oxford Police Department Officer Rachel Ratcliffe has a knack for busting burglars and thieves.

Officer Rachel Ratcliffe. Photo provided.

Ratcliffe, who was named the Exchange Club of Oxford’s Officer of the Month for August, spent much of that month tracking down sticky-fingered crooks, including a suspected car burglar from Batesville.

Ratcliffe’s first notable case in August was the theft of an iPad. The device’s owner had pinged it to a location somewhere in Walmart, and Ratcliffe traced it to a kiosk that contained returned electronics. Ratcliffe identified the first of two suspects that same day and nabbed the second one the next week.

A more vexing case was a rash of daytime auto burglaries that took place on the University of Mississippi campus and in the parking lots of Walmart and Austin Shoes.

“As the front-line officer, I happened to take a few of those reports, so I saw there was a modus operandi,” Ratcliffe said at a recent Exchange Club meeting. “He did it the same way, the same time, every time. You could tell he was from out of town by the way he would show up and then just completely disappear.

“It kind of gave me the idea that he was from Batesville because he came in from the west side of the city, [taking] the first entry into Oxford coming from Batesville,” she noted.

Ratcliffe said car burglaries typically start with unlocked car doors.

“Almost every car that gets broken into is unlocked,” she said. “They want it easy—they don’t want anyone to know they’re there.”

Ratcliffe also tied that suspect to two false-pretense offenses and a shoplifting offense at Walmart. According to OPD Sgt. Kevin Parker, who nominated Ratcliffe for the Officer of the Month Award, “the estimated total [value] of items either stolen or brought back under false pretense is just over $2,000.”

Finally, Ratcliffe helped track down a stolen credit card on which the three suspects had allegedly racked up a bill of $1,459.

OPD Captain Alan Ivy said Ratcliffe has a bright future in law enforcement, thanks to her strong work in these kinds of cases.

“What she doesn’t realize is she’s training herself for an investigative role or a supervisor role,” he said.

“Rachel’s just one of [OPD’s] many really good hires,” Ivy added. “We’ve been on a roll in the past three or four years. They’re all young, but we’ve got some top-notch officers.”

The Exchange Club of Oxford is one of Oxford’s leading service organizations, with a focus on prevention of child abuse, Americanism, community service and youth programs. Among its many projects, the nonprofit supports the Exchange Club Family Center in Oxford, which works to improve the quality of life for at-risk families by breaking the cycle of child abuse and neglect through prevention, intervention and educational services.

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