COLUMBIANA - City police are still searching for the person or people who broke into the Columbiana Firestone store over the weekend and made off with several thousand dollars worth of tires and a company truck.
The department turned to the public on Tuesday asking for any information that could aid the investigation. The request was posted on the department's Facebook page.
Police Chief Tim Gladis said the stolen truck was recovered on Sunday, but the tires and the suspect(s) have not been found.
A company employee discovered the theft Sunday morning and called the department. A copy of the daily police log stated that someone had attempted to enter the business by breaking out a window and attempting to pry a door open with a crowbar.
Gladis said the truck was found by the highway patrol after the department entered the theft information into the law enforcement data system available to all jurisdictions.
The truck was located in the park and ride at the state Routes 11, 7 and 276 on and off ramp near the Rogers exit in the southern part of the county.
"It was a pretty quick recovery," he said.
He said it appears the person who took the truck attempted to break into a different vehicle at the business first but weren't successful and moved to the stolen truck after finding the keys somewhere on the property.
The theft occurred sometime Saturday night or early Sunday, Gladis added.
It is still not clear how many tires were taken, although the chief said it was enough to value several thousand dollars. He believes they will turn up in roadside stands, flea markets or for sale on various websites.
"The main thing we are looking for would be that if you stole a large quantity of tires I would guess you would try to move them, sell them somewhere. Somebody somewhere is going to be approached to buy tires," he said.
Tires taken from the business on Sponseller Road just off state Route 14 on the city's north side varied in size and brand, he said. One brand he noted was Cooper.
Whether the thief was assisted by others is unknown, although he said the extent of the theft would indicate they had help.
"They got a fair amount of tires. You have to load all that stuff. One person could have done it but it's hard to say," he said.
The department is asking anyone who saw any suspicious activity near the business over the weekend to call Detective Wade Boley at 330-482-9292.
Anyone who saw a load of tires being transported between Columbiana and the park and ride near the Rogers exit should also call the department, Gladis said.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted directly to Gladis through columbianapd.org.