LISBON -- Two men have been charged with theft and criminal tools after deputies located them in a vehicle with numerous stolen batteries in the trunk on Thursday afternoon.
Don Ketchum, Applegate Road, Lisbon, reported to the county sheriff's department at 2:14 p.m. Thursday he had just chased a black Grand Am into the Lisbon area after he saw someone in his yard stealing a battery. Although he was unable to keep up with the fleeing car, Ketchum was able to provide deputies with a description of the vehicle and a license plate number.
One deputy, Brandon Hoppel spotted the Grand Am on Roller Coaster Road, but when he turned to follow it, the driver sped away. Another deputy, Detective Sgt. Jeff Haugh next saw the vehicle northbound on state Route 45 near the County Career Center and was able to stop it just inside the village limits.
According to the sheriff's department report, both men, the driver Kyle Thrasher, 32, Valley Road, Salem, and the passenger, Bruce Pierce, 32, Annesley Road, East Liverpool, were known to deputies to have lengthy criminal histories, including convictions for theft and drug offenses. With tools visible in the front passenger area, deputies asked to see inside the trunk and found numerous batteries from vehicles and tractors.
Deputies note there have been several batteries reported stolen recently. Ketchum was able to identify his battery among those in the trunk. A woman also reportedly drove past where the men were being arrested and identified them as recently being in her garage, although she had not called to report it at the time.
Just prior to the call from Ketchum, another woman, Karen Miller, Alderlick Road, Lisbon, reported at 2 p.m. Thursday she was napping and woke to find two men in a black Grand Am stealing her battery out of her tractor. When she confronted them, they fled southbound on Steubenville Pike.
Both men appeared on video arraignment Friday morning in Columbiana County Municipal Court. Bond was set for each of them at $2,000 cash or surety.
A Sept. 6 pretrial was set for Thrasher, while Pierce was set for pretrial on Sept. 20.