By Joe Gorman
A Mahoning County grand jury Thursday indicted 12 people for being involved in a ring that stole vehicles, landscaping equipment and other property from several Northeast Ohio counties.
Although none of the items was stolen in Mahoning County, according to the indictments in the case, all 12 people are from Youngstown.
Three of them already are in custody and already had been charged. They are Jamealla Crafter, 20, of Powers Way; Alvin Tucker Jr., 28, of Euclid Avenue; and Louis Justice III, 24, of North Gate Avenue.
The other nine people indicted by the grand jury Thursday were indicted by direct presentment.
Charges range from engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft, breaking and entering and receiving stolen property.
The indictment charges that the items were taken between February and April 2013.
The indictment says that the stolen items were taken to a West LaClede Avenue home that was occupied by Justice.
The case was investigated by the Cleveland office of the Ohio State Highway Patrol because of the large number of thefts and the widespread area in which they occurred. Investigators used surveillance and, on at least one occasion, a GPS tracking device was used during one of the break-ins after investigators were able to get a warrant.
Break-ins listed in the indictment occurred in Vienna, North Canton, McDonald and Olmsted Falls. On at least one occasion, stolen property from one address was transported by equipment stolen from another address, according to the indictment.
The indictment said all of the break-ins were planned in Youngstown, and the stolen merchandise was brought back to Youngstown to be stored and sold, with the profits going to the members of the ring.
Crafter and Tucker were taken into custody in March while Justice was taken into custody early this month.