2 to be arraigned in 'unauthorized removal'
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two men charged with "unauthorized removal" of salable items from a vacant house were due in municipal court today for arraignment.
Patrolman Dave Santangelo, who has been investigating theft of copper and aluminum siding from vacant houses, spotted a pickup truck in the driveway of 101 N. Lane Ave. on Monday. He found a bathtub and waste and drain pipes in the truck.
Arrested at the scene were Robert D. Leasure Jr., 48, of Jacobs Road and Kenneth Speed, 51, of Miltonia Avenue. Both are charged with unauthorized removal, a newly enacted law that city council hopes will stem the rash of thefts of salable items from mostly vacant structures.
Speed, when questioned at the scene, told Santangelo that the owner said it was OK to remove items from the house because it was going to be torn down, reports show. The officer said neither Speed nor Leasure had any form of permission to take items.
In a separate event, Calvin Milledge, 43, of West Woodland Avenue was seen by Patrolmen Eric Reese and Kevin Bokesch using a shovel to remove aluminum siding at a house at 1045 High St. Monday afternoon, reports show. Milledge was caught after climbing off a ladder and running into woods behind the house.
Police said he had two screwdrivers in his coat. In the side yard, police found three more ladders, a stack of aluminum and a shovel.
The officers said Milledge must have been stripping the house for some time because aluminum had been removed going up 16 feet on all sides.
Copper had also been removed, police said.
Milledge failed to show for arraignment Tuesday in municipal court and a warrant was issued, the clerk of court's office said.