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Crime at Boardman stores swamps police

Published: Fri, February 11, 2011 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



Police officers spent nearly nine hours addressing crime at a local shopping plaza Wednesday.

Four reports were filed relating to incidents at Walmart and one from Staples. Both stores are located off South Avenue, just north of U.S. Route 224.

Police Chief Jack Nichols said criminals feel “comfortable at Walmart because it seems easy to escape from” with Interstate 680 and South Avenue nearby.

He said shoplifting occurs at least once each day and on average takes an hour of an officer’s time, but that it’s important to keep officers going to those calls.

“When we arrest [people] at Walmart, we never know about that thing that they didn’t do,” he said.

Much of the petty theft is drug-related because people steal items and then trade or sell them for drugs, Nichols noted.

“In a drug-rich environment, which is what we have, the quantity of arrests is important. The number of times you slap the handcuffs on has the impact,” Nichols said.

Seven police officers were on the roads Wednesday afternoon, according to records.

On the first call to Walmart at 3 p.m. Wednesday, police arrested Tammie Lee Ritenour, 50, of Edinburg, Pa., on charges of stealing merchandise valued at $37.62.

She was arrested and released on $1,250 bond. Police spent about two hours and 20 minutes from the time of dispatch to clearing the call.

Shortly after that, a woman came to the police department on Market Street to report her checks stolen and used for purchases at Walmart this week.

An officer was sent to Walmart for information on the stolen checks and reported that the suspect made purchases valued at more than $1,200.

From the time the woman came to the lobby to the time the officer left Walmart, two hours and eight minutes passed.

Again, an officer was sent to Walmart at 6:33 p.m. because a man had cashed a check for $312.67 and returned to the cashier saying he received a counterfeit $20 bill. The cashier confirmed the bill was fake and told the man Walmart had to contact the police per corporate policy, according to reports.

The man drove away, and employees gave police his registration number, records state. Police said that when they ran the number through LEADS, they saw the man has an active warrant from Campbell police for failure to appear on a weapons offense. That call took one hour and 15 minutes.

Around 7:20 p.m. police were called to Staples for a camcorder theft and left 40 minutes later.

On the midnight shift, which had six officers on patrol, two officers responded to two shoplifters fleeing Walmart.

According to reports, two men suspected of opening potato chips and M&Ms and eating them without paying first ($1.97 value) ran when the store’s loss-prevention officers approached them.

An officer caught and arrested a 17-year-old from Boardman. The teen was charged with theft, obstructing official business and resisting arrest, report state.

Police said they could not find the other man, who was chased by officers into a vacant lot and wooded area.

Nichols said it’s rare that teens flee, but if they do, it’s still important to apprehend them.

“If they’re 17 and doing that, you have to address it, because if you let it go, it just turns into bigger issues later,” he said.

The township is still considering charging businesses impact fees, which would be based on the projected impact the development would have on township services, said township Administrator Jason Loree.

The police chief said officers will continue to go to shoplifting crime scenes.

“I don’t want to be in a position where we have merchants apprehending shoplifters. It seems like a small thing, but it’s really not,” Nichols said.


1bluehouse(9 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Do you see why Canfield said No Way to Walmart? It's known if you live in Boardman to go to walmart at the crack of dawn or midnight. Wal Mart is white trash and just trash haven.

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2snworb56(53 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Close the borders between Youngstown and Boardman!!! Walmart brings in the crud.

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3endthismess(463 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

So, now we have to deal with all of Boardman's retailers where more than likely the WRTA drops off all "their daily riders" right to the stores doors. This means Walmart, Kmart, all the Giant Eagles, Staples, Shops at Boardman Park, Southern Park Mall, Boardman Plaza, Best Buy, TJMaxx and all the other retailers up and down route 224 must now look into hiring their own amred store security who have stuns guns and can make their own arrests. Then comes a new budget to puchase their own "caged paddy wagon" for transporting criminals to county jail. More costs being passed onto the consumer, but this could actually help lower consumer prices to stop shrinkage in the long run. Local car dealers may be happy to step up, provide a used vechile and put run their ads on their "security" cars they provide for the stores. Retaliers should post signs at all entrances stating "Enter at your own risk. If you are caught stealing, you will be on camera, detained by stun if necessary, arrested, cuffed and transported to county jail. Theives will bear all financial responsibility when arrested for payment of store's arresting security team and transportation to jail. NO EXCEPTIONS" Make sure the new security policy is printed on each store receipt as well as and printed along/under all store print mail/newspaper advertising. GET THE MESSAGE OUT. WE ARE DONE TOLERATING ALL THIS STUPID #### from all you slimmy "wanna be gang banganna" pukes who make trouble for everyone. Also, each store needs to have a weapon scanner at each entrance. If someone wants to carry a weapon, fine. The store's new policy is very simple. The weapon owner must show their CCW license to the store security personel and then secure their weapon in a courtesy private locking locker in the store lobby, do their shopping, collect their weapon from the store's locker and leave. Should a scan detect a weapon and the owner does not want to lock up their weapon and show their CCW permit, then the store's security team can assume that this person has no CCW license, has an illegal gun and now they are caught on store's security film. Email the film everday to the local police communities so the cops can cross reference their files for these scum bags.... before we have another Indiana Ave. happen again. Start using the retailers to help fight crime! And yes.......I do have a CCW license to carry....and I carry......everyday. I am done being a potential victim.

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4ysustudent9(1 comment)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

I work at a Walgreens and whenever we call about a theft or even people doing drugs in the parking lot they always say that they're "a little tied up" and that they'll be there in a little bit. By the time that they come the thief is gone and they say that they can't do anything about it. But they'll arrest some kids for eating a bag of m&ms and some potato chip totaling about $2 when the theft at our store is usually $50 or more of merchandise. Even when they do catch someone they just give them a warning and let them go right in the parking lot! We'll have people beg for money in the parking lot and when the cops catch them they just tell them to leave and never do anything about it! Guess what? An hour later that person is right back in our parking lot and we can't do anything about it! Something here needs to change, and its not just the "hoodrats".

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5apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

As I've said many times before, basing an economy on retail is a fools game. Studies have shown that communities with retail based economies pay more to support those businesses than they generate in revenue for that community.

More cops won't help and this has been occurring for decades in Boardman.

Canfield was smart to reject Walmart.

Time for the township employees to take a nice 10% cut so that staffing levels can be more normal. The golden trough must come to an end. Paying $141,000 plus benefits for a police chief in 2010 is simply way over the top. Add in 2 other policemen at over $100,000 plus benefits and many others in the 80 and 90 thousands and you have some of the highest paid public servants in Ohio.

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

“In a drug-rich environment, which is what we have"

It's the culture !

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7republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Again, mismanagment by Boardman trustees -- Walmart or any store should not be allowed to be open 24 hours, this only invites trouble late night. You go to Walmart and tell them, if they can't control their customers, we will. The first thing will be to limit their hours of operation.

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8dees2cents(38 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

My daughter was a victim of theft at Chuck E Cheese (someone stole her wallet). The Boardman Police were there in no time and they were very helpful.
They not only requested and received the in store video there, but followed through in getting video from the stores were this thief used my daughter's credit cards. Hopefully they will find out who the girl was by doing this. We were told that even if she is not on file, if she ever gets caught stealing in future, because of the videos , they will have her on this theft too.

PS - I would like to tell this girl to get a job !!!! My daughter has worked since she was 16 , goes to work every day at 5:00 in the morning, works overtime and all........ you should be ashamed of yourself and you will answer for it eventually, believe me.

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9apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Watch the video that they showed on the news last night from Giant Eagle. Two people, one distracted and the other stole a womans wallet from her purse right in the open at GE Boardman. With other shoppers in the same aisle. People need to be alert at all times. More cops won't change things but I'll bet Boardman crime will get a whole lot more coverage in the various newspapers. They'll try to scare Boardman residents into voting yes by making it appear to be a crime wave. Conveniently, they haven't updated the township website with crime stats that would show crime is pretty steady regardless of how many cops or how highly paid they are. Time for them to forfeit 10% of the 20% overpaid the audit said they were. $141,000 for the chief last year but certain Boardman employees were outraged when Berarducci made $100,000. I guess if one of the good old boys makes it, it's alright.

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10ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

The Boredman Wal-Mart scares me. I feel like I am in a bad 80s horror movie when I look at who is walking around the store. I try to stay away at all costs. Then head over to Vintage and grab some good brews!

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11seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

"On the first call to Walmart at 3 p.m. Wednesday, police arrested Tammie Lee Ritenour, 50, of Edinburg, Pa., on charges of stealing merchandise valued at $37.62"...hmmmm, let's look at this. So, they wasted an hour arresting some white trash for stealing $37.62. At the outrageous wage of a Boardman officer it becomes readily apparent that they are wasting a lot of resources and money handling the problems of White Trash Mart. The kicker is that Boardman bent over when WalMart wanted to come in and commited the police to handle these pissy little calls. They can't get out of it, it's contracted. Besides, if they had to actually nail real criminals, like all the ghetto crawling illegal vehicles with felony warrant drivers cruising into Boardman, stuffed full of felons, they would not be able to handle it. We're doomed by the ingenious township leaders and an inept police force. The only correction is CCW and an Easton...TING!!!

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12apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Seminole, I guess Boardman Walmart has the highest priced security taxpayers can fund! The trustees Boardman has had and currently does have have been dismally inept and borderline corrupt in shirking their duty to the taxpayer.

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13Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

"According to reports, two men suspected of opening potato chips and M&Ms and eating them without paying first ($1.97 value) ran when the store’s loss-prevention officers approached them."

LMFAO - that is funny. Wonder if the store's loss prevention officer drew his toy water gun?

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14apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Sending $100,000 a year plus benefits cops out to investigate potato chip theft is similar to sending out the big truck to fender bender accidents. Overkill.

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15ytown1(398 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Hey VIndy, can't take the heat? Why would you delete a post only asking you to do your job and actually do some investigative reporting.

All I said was the story looked like like a fluff piece spoon fed and printed without actually asking why all of sudden are we being asked sensationalize stories that are nothing more than Police Blotter fare?

How about it Todd, you going to delete this one too? I would hope not.

Is the township censoring the posts here now?

I have seen that Jim Hoover got real quiet all of a sudden on the other thread for the levy, did I hit onto a point that they did not want to get enough traction? All I asked you to do is actually do some reporting why the Township is in this fiscal mess? The state audit is a great place to start. Going through the cycles of the contracts and making connections as to when certain benefits were given and what the revenue stream was given to base those benefits and increases on.

I am not asking you to commit a crime, just use the freedom of information act to request this information, I am sure you do that all of time, unless when it comes to the Cafaro's, they just refuse to cooperate also. the rest of the world does not have a clue as to what is going on and they prefer it that way, keep the taxpayers in the dark and scared that the raping an pillaging is only around the corner and that if wed do not give into the demands of the BFD they only threaten us here on Vindy that they are going to let us people that disagree with them to burn in our houses or they just may not respond to an accident scene if they knew one of were involved. You can research back in the Vindy archives and find that or Apollo can Verify that information.

There now I feel better, I guess I was a little perturbed that I was censored, because I do not know what I could have said that was a violation of the Vindy Board Rules of Conduct? At least I was not notified that I did anything wrong?

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16southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

The dregs of society in Youngstown need new places to steal from; no stores remain in the city in which they can loot!

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17One_Who_Stayed(240 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

@southsidedave, snworb56 and loaf1

Apparently you didn't read the article. Not a single thing in here involved anyone form Youngstown (Edinboro, PA and a Boardman kid). Time to start dealing with your own home grown hoodlums that you never will admit you have.

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18apollo(1227 comments)posted 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't worry ytown1, the Vindy is often biased towards the public workers and no doubt will support the levy. Investigative reporting to them is ripping the salaries off of my website.

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