Several held in connection to area thefts

YOUNGSTOWN – At least five people, including several from Trumbull County, were being held at the Mahoning County Jail on Thursday in connection with several area thefts.

Law enforcement officials said there could be more people involved in what they are calling a ring of thieves.

On Wednesday, Rex Putnam, 34, and Mark Mansfield, 30, both of Niles, were arrested when Mahoning County deputies and members of the U.S. Marshal’s Task Force raided a home on Huntley Drive in Howland.

Three others, Tera Watters, 24, Niles, Keith Sarrach, 23, no address available, and Roxann Putnam, 32, Warren, were arrested after a string of thefts in Poland on Monday.

Officials said that during the raid, they found five duffel bags full of suspected stolen merchandise, including cell phone and GPS units believed to have taken from unlocked vehicles around southern Mahoning County, including Canfield.

Investigators reported having at least 25 thefts in the Canfield area the past couple of months, with dozens more in other communities in southern Mahoning County.

“I think we are hitting the second month of the amount. We have had 15 to 20 in about a two-month period,” Allen said.

Some of the suspects have made initial appearances in local municipal courts, and some were scheduled to appear today, to answer to charges ranging from identity fraud to receiving stolen property.

Court dates for preliminary hearings and pretrials have scheduled for several of the suspects within the next several weeks.

Tribune Chronicle news partner WYTV Channel contributed to this report.