5 people face 70 charges in alleged crime ring targeting jewelry stores

TROY – A Miami County grand jury has indicted five people on 70 charges including corrupt activity and conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity in a series of break-ins, vandalism, thefts and safecrackings in Miami, Montgomery, Hamilton and Columbiana counties between September 2017 and August 2018.

The group was described as “a ring of serial thieves breaking into businesses from all over the area,” by Tony Kendell, Miami County prosecutor. He declined further comment on the case.

Troy Police Capt. Jeff Kunkleman said Friday nearly a dozen agencies were involved in the investigation, including Troy Police Detective Matt Mosier, who was instrumental in the investigation along with detectives Jason Threlkeld of Miamisburg Police and Steve Hoy of the City of Montgomery Police Department.

The indictment, dated Feb. 14, alleges the five “did agree to commit or aid in the commission of two or more incidents of corrupt activity.”

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The crime targets included several jewelry stores including Harris Jewelers in Troy in October 2017 when property valued at more than $150,000 was stolen.

Among others were Direct Jewelry Outlet, also known as Rock Jewelers on Springboro Pike, Dayton; Bacovin Jewelers in Hamilton; Kromholtz Jewelers in Montgomery; Kamal’s God Center in Dayton; Mikado Japanese Restaurant, Piqua; Advance America, Piqua; Check into Cash, Troy; and The Home Depot on Springboro Pike, Dayton. A Kay Jewelers in East Liverpool, Ohio, also is among businesses allegedly targeted.

“They are really quite good,” Kunkleman said of those indicted. “They put some time and effort into their work. It took a lot of time and effort to put it (the case) together.”

He also thanked Kendell, assistant prosecutor Janna Parker and other prosecutors for the time put into preparing and presenting the case to the grand jury.

All five defendants face first-degree felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity. Other charges breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools, safecracking, vandalism, grand theft of motor vehicle, aggravated theft, grand theft, complicity to grand theft of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, complicity to breaking and entering, complicity to vandalism, and complicity to safecracking.

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Two people have been arrested so far, according to Miami County Jail records.

They are Michele G. Gue, 46, and Kevin J. Ashley, 45. Gue is scheduled for arraignment Monday in county Common Pleas Court. A court date for Ashley was not available.

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