Salem woman charged as package pirate

LEETONIA – After receiving several reports of packages missing from front porches of homes in Leetonia and Perry Township in December, Leetonia police filed theft charges against a Salem woman who was already being held in Trumbull County jail on drug-related charges.

Leetonia Police Chief Allen L. Haueter said Erin R. Atkinson, 37, of 1357 Pembrooke Dr., Apt. B, was charged with one count of theft, a minor misdemeanor, after police followed up on tips from Leetonia residents.

The charges were filed on Dec. 28, and Haueter said they couldn’t locate Atkinson at first, but learned she was being held in Trumbull County after she was arrested by Liberty Township police before Christmas.

She will be brought to Columbiana County upon being released from Trumbull County.

He said both Leetonia and Perry Township departments received reports of “so called porch pirates” who steal U.S. Mail, UPS and FedEx packages from residents’ porches.

A couple of packages were stolen in Leetonia on Main and Pine streets, and others were taken on Pembrooke Dr. in Perry Township.

Haueter said the investigation is proceeding on two other suspects, both men from Salem, who are under suspicion for assisting Atkinson.

“They drove around,” he said, “and they saw the delivery trucks in town, and saw the packages. She drove the two others around and they would pick up the packages.”

Once the other two are identified “there will be further arrests,” he said, adding that could occur before the end of the week.

He credited neighbors in Leetonia with assisting in the charges being filed as they saw something and passed information along to police.