Runaway Car Thief, Repeat Burglar in Ross County Grand Jury

The Ross County Grand Jury returned all 26 of their cases Friday, with eight open.

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In one, a car thief who made tracks after being spotted...ran away after getting caught on railroad tracks.

According to the Ross County Prosecutor's Office, a police officer on patrol noticed no front license plate on a Lincoln Town Car whose driver made a traffic violation on Adams Avenue. She activated her lights and then siren but the driver accelerated into an alley, back onto Adams, made his way to Watt Street, and then East 5th.

The car then got caught on the Norfolk Southern tracks and the driver escaped on foot. The railroad had to be notified in case a train was coming.

34-year-old Clarence J. Johnson of Franklin Furnace, Ohio, was later captured near Sugar and Redd streets. He was also identified in a incident reported the day before. The car was reported stolen from Lawrence County and Johnson was a suspect.

For indictments of failure to comply and receiving stolen property, he could get up to 6 1/2 years and $15,000 in fines.

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In another, a repeat burglar who tried to cash his stolen tickets was caught the second time.

According to the Ross County Prosecutor's Office, Gibson's General Store on State Route 772 in Huntington Township reported a robbery January 10th. Ten cartons of cigarettes, many lottery tickets, and a safe with about $3,000 in cash were taken by an unidentified man caught on surveillance video.

On January 15th, 27-year-old Isaac E. Leeth came into the business and tried to cash some lottery tickets, but was told they were stolen.

The business was then broken into the next night, and Leeth was identified in the video, as well as his vehicle, which led to his address on Camelin Hill Road. Deputies found him at home with almost $5,000 worth of lottery tickets and multiple packs of cigarettes.

For indictments of breaking & entering and receiving stolen property, Leeth could get up to a year and $2,500 in fines.

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