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RAYEN SCHOOL Janitor charged in violin theft



Published: Fri, February 14, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



A school trumpet also turned up at an area pawnshop.

By PATRICIA MEADE

VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Thomas Ruby, head custodian at The Rayen School, has been charged with stealing a violin and pawning it for drug money.

Ruby, 49, of Illinois Avenue, McDonald, has been removed from his job, said Ted Terlesky, chief of security for the Youngstown School District. Terlesky said Ruby will remain off the job pending the outcome of an internal investigation and the criminal case.

Ruby, charged with theft, turned himself in Tuesday afternoon. He was held in the Mahoning County jail overnight pending arraignment today in municipal court.

Terlesky signed the complaint that charges Ruby with taking an Otto Ernst Fisher violin and case, worth about $500 and property of the Youngstown Board of Education. The violin has been retrieved from the Austintown Pawn Shop on Mahoning Avenue, he said.

Discovery

The violin theft was discovered two weeks ago by The Rayen School's band director, who noticed that the cabinet containing the strings instruments was unlocked, police said. An inventory revealed that the violin was missing.

Security personnel checked to see if a student had taken the violin home. None had.

Last week, city police were called in to take a report of the theft at the high school on Benita Avenue. That's when Ruby confessed and was escorted off school grounds, reports show.

Police said Ruby told them that he has a drug problem, knew he "screwed up" and was feeling remorseful. He also told police that he received $60 for the instrument at the pawnshop and was willing to pay to get it out to "clear the air."

Ruby told police and the head of maintenance that he had completed a drug treatment program last September but began abusing drugs shortly thereafter. Reports don't specify what kind of drugs.

Another matter

This week, police said they learned that a Yamaha trumpet and case belonging to The Rayen School had been pawned by Ruby at the Austintown Pawn Shop last November. The report lists Ruby as the suspect.

Terlesky said the trumpet remains at the pawnshop for the time being. He didn't know the value of the instrument.

Youngstown Detective Sgt. Brad Blackburn, who aided in the investigation, said Ruby may be charged with receiving stolen property for the trumpet.

meade@vindy.com




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