Fake bills found throughout city

EAST LIVERPOOL Business owners and employees as well as shoppers are being warned by city police to be on the lookout for counterfeit bills.

“We’re getting an unusual amount,” Detective Don Fickes said Thursday, holding a handful of fake bills that have been seized from a variety of businesses.

The denominations are fives, tens and twenties, and officers said those are probably being circulated because businesses don’t check them for authenticity as often as they might larger bills.

Detectives encouraged businesses to begin checking all bills.

Although at first glance, the bills look authentic, closer inspection shows the edges are often trimmed crookedly, and the paper has an unusual feel compared to real bills. They also do not have the security strip evident in real bills.

The detectives said they believe much of the counterfeit money is being circulated through the drug trade, although one woman who attempted to purchase gas in the city recently reported having received the four $10 bills and a $20 bill all fake from employees at the Hookstown Fair when she purchased items for her children. Another woman who tried to make a gas purchase with a counterfeit bill had received it from her son.

“Be aware of money, especially if it doesn’t feel right,” Fickes cautioned.

Police seek theft information

EAST LIVERPOOL City police detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in helping determine who broke into the Sanford & Son Plumbing business on Pennsylvania sometime Thursday morning.

The electric meter was pulled off the panel outside the business, which terminated electric service, including stopping clocks which indicated the crime took place about 1 a.m., according to police.

An attempt was made to break through the roof of the business by using rocks and bricks, and then a doorknob was removed to enter, where the office was ransacked and a safe dragged out and apparently loaded into a waiting vehicle, Detective Greg Smith reported.

Smith said the safe contained money and paperwork for the business and was loaded into a vehicle in the Price Street area.

Officers are asking if anyone saw any vehicles around the business or anything out of the ordinary near the business or Price Street in the early morning hours of Thursday, possibly as late as 1:30 a.m., to call the department at 330-385-1234.

Rights waived for cookie thief

LISBON – A second person this week was bound over to the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court grand jury on charges related to the theft of more than $15,000 from the Girl Scouts.

Timothy R. McCourt, 31, Second Street, Bergholz, waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Thursday. In exchange for waiving the hearing, his bond was reduced from $10,000 to $5,000 cash or surety.

McCourt is accused of two felony charges of misuse of credit cards and theft. Assistant Prosecutor Megan Forsythe requested an amendment to the theft charge, noting it was between $7,500 and $150,000 in property taken, not an automobile, which was listed on the charge.

Additionally, McCourt is also charged with falsification, a misdemeanor, for allegedly giving a false statement to Salineville Police Chief Andrew Straley, who was investigating the matter.

A co-defendant, Denise D. Everhart, 36, Monroeville Heights, Salineville, who is also charged with theft and falsification was bound over to the grand jury on Tuesday.

The pair are accused of using an ATM card multiple times to withdraw $15,176 from the account of the Girl Scouts of America Troop 800.

Additional charges regarding the case are expected.

EP teen facing burglary charge

LISBON – An East Palestine teen is facing an aggravated burglary charge after a woman reportedly found him standing inside her home on Wednesday evening with a knife.

Steven M. Wright, 18, Jimtown Road, East Palestine, made his initial appearance in Columbiana County Municipal Court on Thursday morning by video arraignment from the county jail. Bond was set at $25,000 and a Sept. 4 preliminary hearing was set.

According to the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office, Jennifer Guy, Cream Ridge Road, Lisbon, reported at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday she came home to find a man in her house. He reportedly left in an older model, powder blue Buick, heading in the direction of Elkton. A deputy, Steven Boyd, driving east through Lisbon saw a vehicle matching that description go westbound on state Route 154, then turn north onto Moore Street toward East Chestnut Street.

Boyd stopped the vehicle and asked Wright where he was coming from and where he was going. He claimed he was coming from East Palestine and going to his father’s house in Lisbon. He denied being on Cream Ridge Road. However, when Guy arrived, she identified both the vehicle and Wright as the person who had been at her house.

Deputies learned the window to the attached garage at Guy’s home was cut, which is believed to be the way he got inside. Guy also reported Wright threatened her with the knife outside the home in the driveway after she ran out of the house.