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Escapee tracked down

February 1, 2012
By DEANNE JOHNSON - Staff Writer , Morning Journal News

LISBON - After a week at large, Albert Bell, the 19-year-old Akron man who ran from the Leetonia police station, was arrested near Damascus Tuesday morning.

Columbiana County Sheriff Ray Stone said his department received a tip from a man living on U.S. Route 62, who described a man believed to be Bell in his area looking for a ride to Akron.

Stone and deputies were joined by three police officers from Goshen Township and one from Perry Township, beginning a search of the area for Bell, who was reported wearing black pants and a colored hoodie. He was reported walking into the area of the Pine Meadows Golf Course.

As police began talking to people who were in the area and outside, they found several who had spotted Bell and relayed they saw the man walking westbound through yards in Damascus north of U.S. Route 62.

Police surrounded the area and began searching westbound. Bell was found walking in a field near an oil well. He was taken into custody by Goshen Township police officers, Don Moser, Greg Crider and Joseph Olinger. They then turned him over to Stone, along with deputies Steve Boyd and Bill McGee, who served him with charges.

Bell is charged with receiving stolen property after he and a woman were found sleeping in a parked stolen vehicle at the Cherry Valley Coke Ovens on Jan. 24. The charge is a fourth-degree felony.

After he was taken to the police station, while secured in the Leetonia police station booking room, Bell had slipped out of the handcuffs and ran from the station. Leetonia police had called in Washingtonville Police and Leetonia firefighters to search the area on Tuesday, but Bell was not found. He eluded authorities for the past week.

His female companion, Valerie Pedreschi, 18, Akron, was not charged regarding the incident last Tuesday, but has been charged with a separate incident in Lisbon following it.

For fleeing, Bell also has been charged with an escape charge, a third-degree felony.

Stone said when he was found this Tuesday, Bell had numerous keys, GPS systems and cell phones with him. The items indicate some of what Bell may have been doing during the past week, possibly breaking into vehicles, the sheriff said. Investigators will begin trying to identify the owners of the items.

djohnson@mojonews.com

 
 

 

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