VIENNA - Two people were charged Monday in connection with stolen property and criminal damaging at a Vienna business.
Vienna Police Sgt. Mike Sheehy said a search for who they dubbed the ''Three-Strike Bandit" has been ongoing since Nov. 26. The nickname stems from three reports of theft by the same burglars in the same location.
"It's very unusual that they go back to the same place, especially when we have the license plate off the front of their vehicle," Sheehy said. "We have evidence to support that they are the same ones that have been doing it.''
Shawn M. Wilkinson, 33, of Jeanette Drive in Warren, and Kayla L. Kralik, 24, of Lincoln Avenue in Mineral Ridge, were arraigned in Girard Municipal Court shortly after their arrest Monday, Vienna Police reported.
Wilkinson was charged with three counts felony theft, three counts criminal trespassing, one felony vandalism and misdemeanor criminal damaging.
Kralik was charged with felony drug possession, felony theft and misdemeanor criminal trespass.
The arrests came shortly after officers were dispatched around 11:20 a.m. Monday on a call of a theft in progress at Davis International, 3762 International Blvd. The caller reported seeing two people loading metal shelving into the back of a gray Ford F150 pickup truck.
Police stopped a truck matching the description on Ridge Road. The driver, Wilkinson, had several warrants out for his arrest in Vienna as well as one in Niles, police said.
When officers patted him down, they found a set of wire cutters in his pocket, according to a police report. Bolt cutters also were found inside the vehicle.
The first theft at Davis International was reported Nov. 26 by Millwood International. The business had been storing items at Davis International.
An employee reported seeing a vehicle driven by two unidentified males ram the gate in an attempt to escape the premises, according to reports, and images of the vehicle were provided to police via a flash drive.
On Thursday, police again were dispatched to the location for reports of criminal damaging. Several employees said they observed a gray truck remove racking from the rear of the plant.
After an employee closed the gate in an attempt to stop the burglars from leaving, the truck rammed the gate, forcing it open. In the process, the truck lost the front license plate, according to reports.
Sheehy said the damage to the gate is estimated at $15,000, with the total theft estimated at $20,000.
Sheehy said attempts are being made by police to recover the stolen items, including checking area scrap yards.