EAST PALESTINE - Two men were arrested this week after police searched a West Clark Street duplex where stolen items and drug paraphernalia were found.
According to a press release issued by Police Chief Kevin Dickey, the department executed the search warrants on Monday following an "intensive investigation" that began after several people reported thefts and/or breaking and entering over the past several weeks.
The thefts occurred in various areas throughout town, he said.
Once inside the duplex police recovered some of the items, including a flat screen TV, electronic gaming devices and clothes. Hypodermic syringes and other drug paraphernalia were also seized.
"Locating drug paraphernalia and/or drugs during these types of searches is common as illegal drug usage is usually the root cause and most driving factor in these types of crimes," Dickey said in the release.
He went on to say that people who commit these types of crimes usually do so to support their drug habit. Typically, they will break into a home, garage, business, car or other area to steal anything of value that can be quickly pawned or traded for cash that in turn will be used to buy illicit drugs.
The men arrested were 43-year-old Arthur J. Gingher, who had two outstanding warrants through Columbiana County Municipal Court, and 20-year-old Dakota J. Mahon, charged with receiving stolen property.
Dickey said the men lived on opposite sides of the duplex and both have lengthy criminal records. Gingher is a lifelong resident of East Palestine, he added.
Municipal Court records available online show Gingher has 33 cases dating back to 1995. Of those, 24 are criminal, with the remaining civil and traffic-related offenses.
Prior criminal charges include resisting arrest, obstructing official business, disorderly conduct, escape, fugitive from justice, menacing, assault, falsification, fleeing and eluding, and theft.
He has served time in jail and been placed on probation for the various charges, according to the records.
Dickey said Gingher and Mahon were both taken to the Columbiana County Jail following this week's search.
Mahon's adult record only includes one traffic offense in which he was charged with failure to control last year. Dickey indicated Mahon had a juvenile history, but those records are not available.
He is now facing a felony receiving stolen property charge. On Tuesday he entered no plea to the charge in municipal court and a preliminary hearing was set for Dec. 12.
The case remains under investigation, which is being led by Sgt. Don Johnson with assistance from the Columbiana County Prosecutor's Office.
The search was one of about 10 the department has conducted over the year, according to Dickey.
"The East Palestine Police Department remains committed to protecting the citizens of the community against all crimes and will continue to aggressively investigate crimes committed against its citizens and pursue those responsible," he said.
Anyone with any information about crime or drug activity is encouraged to the call police department at 330-426-4341.