Thu. 2:48am: Former ‘Taxi Bandit’ arrested in church theft

WARREN TOWNSHIP Police said the arrest of a man wanted in the Dec. 8 burglary of First Community Church of Leavittsburg thwarted a planned break-in in Bascom Elementary School.

Daniel Hiles, 59, of West Market Street, Warren, was booked into Trumbull County Jail shortly after 2 a.m. today on one count of breaking and entering, according to township police Chief Don Bishop. The chief said more charges likely will be filed.

Hiles will appear in court this morning.

An officer patrolling the area near the school at 1015 N. Leavitt Road about 9 p.m. Wednesday spotted Hiles, Bishop said.

“He matched the description from video from on the church break-in,” Bishop said.

Hiles ran, but police tracked down. He was picked up at 9:35 p.m. and taken to the police station for questioning, where he confessed to the break-in of the church at 4640 W. Market St., the chief said.

“We recovered some of the computer stolen from the church,” Bishop said.

“He told us he was planning on breaking into Bascom Elementary School tonight,” he said. “He’s broken into a lot of places. He just got released from prison in October for the same thing.”

Hiles faced nine charges in December 2009 in relation to the late October 2009 break-ins that began nine weeks after he’d been released after spending eight years behind bars on similar charges.

He was dubbed the “Taxi Bandit” because police said he had a tendency to use a taxi to make his getaway in the 2009 burglaries.

The charges stemmed from a break-in at the Jackson Milton Elementary School, and multiple break-ins at businesses, a church and the old Jackson Milton High School in Jackson Township.