EL woman pleads guilty in laundromat theft

LISBON – An East Liverpool woman involved in a scheme to steal money from laundromat machines pleaded guilty to three related charges in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court on Thursday morning.

Miranda Smith, 35, Lang Street, pleaded guilty to charges of theft and tampering with a coin machine. Additionally, Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart agreed to dismissed a third-degree felony tampering with evidence charge and allow Smith instead to plead guilty to a lesser charge of vandalism, a fifth-degree felony.

Weikart said one of the main reasons the prosecutor’s office was willing to allow the lesser charge was Smith’s cooperation with investigators. Because the three charges Smith pleaded guilty to were all less than third-degree felonies, she was then eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction.

Judge Scott Washam sentenced Smith to four years probation, but during the beginning of her probation she was sentenced to spend time at the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center, where she can get substance abuse counseling.

On Sept. 23, Smith and another person, allegedly Eric Jordan, broke into a change machine at the East End Wash N Dry in East Liverpool, owned by Luanne Shilling. Both bills and coins were taken from the machine, which was then vandalized.

Shilling’s nephew attended the hearing on Thursday, noting besides the $2,523 in initially reported damages and money missing, it is now believed an additional $800 was taken from the machine.

Jordan, 34, West Pigeon Road, Salem, also has been charged with theft, tampering with a coin machine and tampering with evidence. His case is set for jury trial in August.

Smith will attend the EOCC some time after she is released from the county jail. She is serving a 60-day sentence there until May 13 on a misdemeanor theft charge from East Liverpool Municipal Court, which was unrelated to her charges in Common Pleas Court.