SALEM TOWNSHIP Police warn residents of area thefts

One chief believes thieves are targeting homes and businesses in rural areas.
LEETONIA -- Salem Township Constable Dan Valentine is advising residents and business owners to take extra precautions in protecting their property.
Valentine, who is also a police officer in Beaver Township, Mahoning County, said there have been several cases of breaking and entering in the area in recent days.
A lawn tractor and weed trimmers were taken from a locked maintenance shed in a Salem Township cemetery, and bicycles and tools were among items taken from a township residence, Valentine said.
He said Beaver Township police are investigating theft of tools and a tractor from businesses there.
Valentine said there is no time pattern to the thefts.
Leetonia Police Chief John Soldano said no incidents of breaking and entering have been reported by village residents or business owners.
Juvenile crimes: Several months ago a number of residents reported theft of items from vehicles parked in the village, but there has not been any recently, he said. Police found most of the thefts were committed by juveniles. He does not suspect the same individuals are responsible for all the crimes, but he has observed cases of breaking and entering seem to run in cycles.
He said for several weeks homes and vehicles in villages such as Leetonia, Lisbon and Wellsville were targeted. Now the thieves seem to be making the rounds of rural areas.
Both Soldano and Valentine said residents are most helpful to police if they report any unusual activity as soon as possible. If vehicles are involved, the description of the vehicle, driver and occupants is very important, they said.

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