An ongoing investigation at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles registrar's office in Marietta has kept the office closed since Friday and suggests some images being taken there were not for state IDs.
According to Ohio Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston, troopers from the Marietta patrol post were called around 2:45 p.m. Friday to investigate a voyeurism complaint at the deputy registrar's office, 148 Gross St.
The office is where driver's licenses, vehicle registrations and license plates are issued.
BRAD BAUER The Marietta Times
Harmar Hill resident Dorothy Hinton, 81, tries the door at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles office in Marietta on Monday. The office has been closed since Friday afternoon as the Ohio Highway Patrol conducts a criminal investigation there. A note on the door suggested customers try other offices in Belpre, McConnelsville or Caldwell.
As of Monday afternoon, the BMV site remained closed and there was no indication when it may reopen. A note on the door of the office advised customers to try other BMV offices in Belpre, Caldwell or McConnelsville.
Ralston said a suspect has been identified in the investigation but no charges have been filed. The patrol released a two-page "initial incident report" on the investigation but declined to say much more about the investigation.
The report indicates as many as eight counts of voyeurism are being considered but doesn't name the suspect. The report does say computer equipment or other electronics are suspected of having been used in the crimes and that officers were conducting searches for the possible abandonment of property.
Local officers involved in the investigation declined to comment and referred all questions to Ralston, who previously worked at the Marietta patrol post, but now works in the patrol's communications office in Columbus.
"The building is leased by the Ohio Highway Patrol and shares space with our driver's license exam post," Ralston said. "So we were called to initiate an investigation."
Ralston declined to give any more details.
"It's an ongoing investigation and I can't say anymore at this time," she said.
The deputy registrar's office is a part of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Officials at the BMV in Columbus said Monday they couldn't comment.
The BMV did issue a news release Monday indicating the Marietta office would remain closed "until further notice."
Gerald Hayes, 45, of Marietta, said he recently had a birthday and needed to renew his driver's license. He said he went to the local BMV office on Saturday only to find it closed. It was closed again when he got there Monday morning.
"I'm on my lunch break," he said. "But I was right about one thing: at 10:30 in the morning on a Monday there aren't many people here ... But neither are the people you need."
Hayes said he might consider going to the Belpre location later in the week, if he had time.
Shortly after Hayes left the office, Dorothy Hinton, 81, of Marietta, stopped by. She said the temporary tags on her vehicle were set to expire and she was looking to buy license plates.
"I'm not going to drive to one of those other places," she said. "I just don't drive that far anymore."