Stickups may be linked

SALEM – A man arrested Saturday night in Salem for trying to rob a couple at knifepoint is also a suspect in a similar robbery last week in Perry Township involving juveniles robbed after their car was blocked by another vehicle.

Shane Blake, 25, of East Fifth Street, appeared in Columbiana County Municipal Court Monday on a felony robbery charge for the Salem incident, with bond set at $100,000 cash or surety. A preliminary hearing is set for April 8.

A press release issued Monday by Chief Mike Emigh said the incident in Perry Township occurred at 9:25 p.m. March 27 at the intersection of Marion Avenue and Apple Street near the Ohio Edison line shop off of Depot Road.

Three teens reported another vehicle had been following them and when they pulled to the stop sign on Apple Street at Marion Avenue, the other vehicle pulled around their vehicle and cut them off. The suspect jumped from his vehicle, opened the victims’ driver side door and confronted the teens with a knife, demanding their money.

The suspect allegedly fled with a small amount of cash. The teens managed to get the license plate number and gave consistent descriptions of the person.

According to the press release, police gathered evidence and spoke to the victims again. Police identified the suspect and planned to attempt to question him Saturday, but then the incident in Salem occurred.

Emigh said any charges related to the township incident will be presented to the county grand jury. According to his press release, the suspect gave information about both incidents and his involvement during questioning after the Salem incident.

Detective Dave Talbert of the Salem Police Department said a husband and wife – identified in Municipal Court documents as Mary and Gary Shasteen – were out for a walk at 8:10 p.m. Saturday in the area of North Howard Avenue and West Ninth Street when a white Chevy Cavalier stopped in the road and a man got out and approached them with a knife. He said he wanted their money and the husband’s wallet and knocked Shasteen down, threatening to stab him, then ended up fleeing in the car.

They called police and an officer on patrol saw the vehicle, followed it and spoke to the driver, who matched the description and was later identified by the Shasteens. A search warrant was being secured for the car.