Homeless man charged in Lease Drug break-in

SALEM – Police caught a man inside Lease Drug after responding to an alarm early Monday and a call from a neighbor about a break-in in progress.

Francis E. Shriver, 36, whose last known address was Wintersville and told police he’s homeless, was charged with breaking and entering and possession of criminal tools.

Det. Dave Talbert said he believed Shriver’s intent was to get inside, get some pills and sell them, but he tripped the alarm when he broke a window to make entry.

Some residents from a nearby apartment building kept him at bay in the store on North Ellsworth Avenue until police arrived.

Police were dispatched at 1:50 a.m. for the alarm activation and then received a call from a resident on North Ellsworth Avenue of a confirmed breaking and entering at the drug store.

Officers arrived and found the front window shattered and a man standing inside the business with his face covered. He was ordered out of the business and placed down on the ground and taken into custody. Numerous tools belonging to the man were also found at the scene.

According to Talbert, he disclosed the location of more tools he had in the area. Initially he wasn’t cooperating with police regarding his identity, but then provided his information, Talbert said.

He claimed he hitchhiked his way to Salem and was homeless, but Talbert said he wasn’t buying that he was here hitchhiking. He was processed and taken to the Columbiana County jail.

Shriver appeared on both charges in Columbiana County Municipal Court, with a preliminary hearing set for Jan. 24.

A couple of other break-in attempts were reported at opposite ends of the city, with one in the 1300 block of North Ellsworth Avenue and one in the 1300 block of South Lincoln Avenue. Entry was not made in either case.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at mgreier@salemnews.net