Stolen dog helps locate suspects
By John W. Goodwin Jr.
The cries and bark of a stolen dog helped lead police to two burglary suspects and may have helped prevent a murder in the city this week, authorities said.
A 36-year-old West Glenaven Avenue man and his wife came home about 7 p.m. Monday to find something not quite right with their residence. A garage door leading to the rear yard of the South Side home was open when it usually is kept shut.
The couple entered their home to find that it had been burglarized, ransacked and the family dog, Hannah, had been stolen along with other items.
The homeowner told police he remembered seeing several men near his driveway, one carrying a bag that looked similar to one owned by his wife. He went outside to confront them as possible suspects but they were gone.
Standing outside, the homeowner heard what sounded like faint barking and began to follow the sound. He followed the sound to an abandoned set of apartments at the corner of Hillman Street and Glenaven, where he found his dog inside one of the apartments.
While still inside the apartment, the homeowner noticed two of the men he had seen near his home earlier now walking near the apartment complex. A description was given to police, and officers stopped the two men a short distance away.
Ultimately, Raymond Johnson, 19, of Sherwood Avenue and a 12-year-old juvenile were arrested on suspicion of burglary. They were identified by both victims as having been near the house, and police recovered the victim’s bag containing a list of personal items, a laptop computer and a video- game system.
Johnson was taken to Mahoning County jail, where deputy sheriffs found a loaded gun clip in his possession. Officers conducted an inventory of Johnson’s belongings and also found a firearm.
According to police reports and city prosecutors, Johnson told police that he and the juvenile were planning to kill someone the night they were arrested for burglary.
Johnson faces charges of burglary, carrying a concealed weapon and falsification. He is in jail on a combined bond of $130,000. The juvenile is in Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center.