Man indicted in Niles kidnapping, car theft

Staff report


Ross A. Francis, the Niles man accused of stealing a car from Niles with a 3-year-old in the back seat, has been indicted on kidnapping and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

Francis, 43, of Robbins Avenue, will be arraigned Dec. 31 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

If he’s convicted, Francis could get a prison sentence of more than 10 years.

Francis was arrested in Lordstown by an off-duty Warren police officer Oct. 12. The officer spotted Francis driving the stolen car and arrested him a short time later at gunpoint. The boy also was recovered from the back of the car and returned safely to his parents.

Police said Francis had contact with Warren Township and Weathersfield Township police Oct. 11 after being released that morning from several months in the Trumbull County jail.

Weathersfield police dropped off Francis at a store on North Main Street in Niles after citing him for vandalizing a home on state Route 169.

Police believe Francis walked from the store to a John Street address and drove off in a car running in the driveway.

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