Man gets 3 years for stealing safe

He ransacked, discarded 100-pound lockbox

By David Wright - [email protected]



HILLSBORO — A Greenfield man was sentenced to three years in prison this week after he stole a 100-pound safe from a home where he was doing construction work earlier this year.

Aaron Stephens, 34, was sentenced Wednesday in Highland County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty in October to tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and theft, a fourth-degree felony, according to court records.

A bill of particulars filed in the case said Stephens stole a 100-pound safe from a garage adjacent to a home on SR 131 he was helping to renovate, took valuable items from inside and dumped the safe in the woods along Rapid Forge Road. The bill said the incident took place in May.

According to the bill, the safe contained about $2,000 in cash, 125 to 150 silver quarters, a gold piece, passports, deeds, birth certificates, several pieces of jewelry, class rings and watches.

The bill said a pawn shop reported Stephens entered the store and sold several silver coins and jewelry, earning $1,041.50.

Stephens was later interviewed and admitted to stealing the safe as he renovated the property with a work crew. Stephens said he removed the items and discarded the safe, adding that he used the cash to purchase a car.

The safe was recovered later, according to the bill, and Stephens was indicted in July on the same charges to which he pled.

Stephens was sentenced to two years on the tampering charge and one year on the theft charge for a total of three years. He was also ordered to pay $2,497.34 in restitution to the victims, according to court documents.

Stephens was indicted Nov. 6 by a Highland County Grand Jury on one count of forgery, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony. That case is still pending.

Also this week, Dakotah Michael Duncan, 19, Greenfield, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a third-degree felony.

According to a bill of particulars filed in the case, law enforcement officers learned two people they were tracking down were going to meet someone in a camouflage truck in Greenfield.

When the truck was found, the driver, identified as Duncan, drove to a nearby residence, exited the vehicle and walked toward the home, according to the bill.

Officers detained him and he was found to have a clear plastic baggie with 25.09 grams of methamphetamine on him, the bill said.

Duncan was indicted in August.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

He ransacked, discarded 100-pound lockbox

By David Wright

[email protected]