WELLSVILLE - A pair of vehicles reported stolen in Wellsville last week have been recovered and a suspect in the case arrested, according to village police.
A 1998 Ford Explorer was stolen from outside of Tony's Place at 209 Third St., the evening of Sept. 30. Then, on Oct. 2, the theft of a 1993 Ford Escort was reported from outside of J.C.'s Wellsville Barber Shop, 458 Main St., at approximately 2 p.m. According to Wellsville Police Officer Salvatore Scarafile, the driver of the Escort had left the keys inside the car.
The Escort was recovered following a traffic stop on Market Street in Toronto on Oct. 3. According to the report from Toronto Police, the car was pulled over after its license number returned to a stolen vehicle. The driver, who is not being identified pending further investigation, told the officer that a friend had given him permission to drive the car. The driver was arrested and taken to Jefferson County Jail in Steubenville.
After being notified of the suspect arrest and vehicle recovery by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department on Oct. 5, Wellsville officers Scarafile and Joseph Saraniti interviewed the suspect at the jail. Scarafile said that, before the arrest, Wellsville Police had received a tip that the suspect might have been involved in both thefts.
Confidentially, the stolen Explorer was recovered on Oct. 5 by Wellsville PD Officer Shawn Bloor following a call to police regarding an abandoned vehicle on Wells Hollow Drive. It was towed to TNT Auto in Lisbon, where it was found to be missing both catalytic converters. The Escort that Toronto Police had recovered was reportedly intact. However, Scarafile said that copper plumbing fixtures had been in the trunk of the car when it was stolen and were recovered at the same scrap yard.
After calling on several local scrap yards, Scarafile recovered the catalytic converters at a recycling business in Lisbon and contacted BCI for assistance with forensics.