Police hoping auto thieves take the bait

With a rash of auto thefts in the area, Salem Township Constable Dan Valentine obtained access to a bait car that has been placed around the township for the past few weeks.

Valentine told trustees during Wednesday’s regular meeting the bait car program is available through the Ohio Attorney General’s office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and is equipped with “cameras and recording devices that can be monitored at all times and through apps on my cell phone.”

The car has been placed in the township in several places with “no luck,” he explained, noting the car has also been used by the Leetonia Police Department.

“Nothing yet,” he said. “But we will continue to use it and return it to BCI and get it back throughout the summer. We’re trying to do our part.”

Valentine also addressed another ongoing problem about reports of people cutting screens on abandoned homes, getting inside and stealing copper. He has had no results with attempts to contact the companies managing the the houses.

“They don’t care about them. If they don’t care about it I can’t do anything,” he said, explaining he has contacted the phone numbers on the stickers attached to the homes. “No luck,” he said while asking, “who is the victim?”

Valentine also updated trustees on the victim of a fox bite, noting the person doesn’t want to get anti-rabies shots. He explained he loaned the person a cage and while he was putting it in the cage it bit him on the wrist.

The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources said once a person is bitten it becomes an issue for the local health department.

Two people, one in Leetonia and one in Washingtonville have permits for “silver Arctic foxes,” he said. He spent about six hours on Sunday trying to locate the owner of the fox that he described as “beautiful.”

In other business, Valentine said he replaced the front brakes on the police cruiser himself to save a little money. “We’ll need to replace the back pretty soon,” he said.

In other business, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sent the township a drilling permit for the Mangus (1H) well and the township met with Chesapeake and and representatives of Rettew regarding the size of stones left on the roads in the road use management agreement.

Also, road supervisor Jason Entrikin was authorized to spend the remaining $179 the township received to spend on safety equipment and will use it for strobe lights.

The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. June 26 and will include a 2014 budget hearing.

Larry Shields can be reached at lshields@salemnews.net