Ex-activist pleads not guilty in Howland theft case

WARREN – A 23-year-old one-time candidate for Warren City Schools Board of Education and self-proclaimed community activist pleaded not guilty Friday to a series of charges, linking him to a case of identity theft.

Roderick Lewis Jr. of Stewart Drive N.W., was freed after posting a $25,000 bond.

He is scheduled to appear Wednesday at a pre-trial in front of Judge W. Wyatt McKay.

Lewis faces charges of theft, presenting a case directly to a grand jury that indicted him for: theft from an elderly person, three counts of misuse of credit cards, theft, attempted misuse of credit cards and impersonating a peace officer.

Howland police say Lewis bilked a 93-year-old woman out of more than $2,000 by using her credit cards that were stolen, along with her purse, from inside a shopping cart at a department store.

Lewis is accused of passing himself off as a Niles detective to gain the woman’s confidence and then stealing her replacement credit card a few days later.