A crowd of burglary victims converged on the police station seeking their stolen goods.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Michelle Winebold is angry at the burglar who stole her jewelry and about the prospect of having to compensate an Austintown pawnshop for the money it lent the thief for the stolen goods.
But she's thankful that Youngstown police were able to recover from that pawnshop most of the jewelry the burglar stole from her home Jan. 18, including her engagement ring and her mother's wedding band. Besides several thousand dollars' worth of jewelry, a digital camera and cordless drill were taken from her home. The camera and drill were not recovered.
Ms. Winebold said she is upset about a state law that requires burglary victims to reimburse pawnshops for money they lent on stolen goods before the victims can recover their possessions.
"I feel like I'm being victimized twice. Not only was my jewelry stolen from me. Now, I have to purchase my jewelry back again from a pawnbroker," Ms. Winebold said. "I hope he spends a long time in jail -- a very long time," she said of the burglar.
"I was very angry, but I was very excited about finding my merchandise," said Ms. Winebold, who shed tears upon seeing her jewelry again in a display at the police station. "I would like for somebody to investigate these laws that protect the pawnbrokers. It's not fair that they're protected," she added.
Hoping to find their items
Ms. Winebold, of Windsor Avenue, was one of about 50 burglary victims from Youngstown, Campbell, Boardman and elsewhere who converged on the city police station Tuesday to view items stolen from area homes in recent weeks.
She is one of at least three victims fortunate enough to be able to identify their possessions from the stolen items displayed by police at Tuesday's public viewing session.
Among items on display in Youngstown were about 200 pieces of jewelry, three computers, a TV, two camcorders, a VCR and a sweeper.
Session set in Boardman
Another such session will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Boardman police station, where stolen goods recovered by Boardman police will be displayed. As was the case in Youngstown, items on display could have been taken from homes in a variety of local communities.
Police will retain the stolen items until they are no longer needed as evidence, said Detective Sgt. William Ross of the Youngstown police.
Police believe they have solved many of the burglaries with the Jan. 31 arrest in Youngstown of William J. Harrison, 42, of Crescent Drive, Struthers, who has confessed a series of burglaries within the past month or so and who faces charges in Boardman, Youngstown, Campbell and Struthers.