Facebook post leads to arrest for possessing stolen Greenford sign

GOSHEN TOWNSHIP- A Christmas morning Facebook post led to the arrest of a West Calla Road man for having a Greenford limits street sign.

John A. Pifer, 21, 8320 W. Calla Road, Salem, was arrested on a warrant Monday morning for a fifth-degree felony count of receiving stolen property for having the sign hanging on a garage wall at his home.

According to Goshen police, someone alerted officers on Christmas morning of the photo that had been posted on the Facebook page of Ron Lodge, 22, Salem-Unity Road, Salem. The photo showed eight individuals at a party with the sign.

Officer Michael Wirkner identified several individuals who were tagged in the photo prior to it being removed from the page.

Officers then checked the area near Greenford Christian Church and found one damaged sign post on the west side of the roadway, as well as tire tracks through the area, indicating a vehicle had possibly been used to remove the sign. Officers also noted that a sign post on east side of roadway was damaged and the speed limit sign missing.

Wirkner responded with Cpl. Nicholas Brent to home of Jacob W. Oliver, 20, Lisbon Road, Salem, identified from the photo, and he indicated he had no knowledge of the missing sign, but after being shown the photo admitted that the photo had been taken at Pifer’s home, where he said they had found the sign behind the garage during a party but didn’t know how it got there.

According to the police report, when speaking with officers Pifer initially denied knowledge of the sign but eventually admitted it was in the garage after being shown the photo. Officers found the sign hanging on the garage wall. Pifer reportedly told officers he wasn’t aware of how the sign came to be on his property and later said he believed Oliver had put the sign in the back of his truck at some point without his knowledge.

Officers also spoke with Lodge who said the sign had been leaning against the outside wall of the garage, but didn’t know how it got there or who brought it to the party.

Brent said that the matter remains under investigation to determine who stole the sign and damaged the posts.