Pre-trial set in theft ring case

A man charged in a theft ring involving at least five properties in a Vandalia neighborhood has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Jesse Lowe, 31, appeared in court yesterday. Two teens, ages 16 and 15, are also accused in the case.

Lowe is charged with seven counts of receiving stolen property. His pre-trial hearing was set for later this month.

The teens' cases were referred to the juvenile prosecutor and they could face felony breaking and entering charges.

According to a statement from one of the teens, they were asked to steal items from properties on South Tionda and Kenbrook Drives by Lowe after they tried to purchase marijuana from him.

The teens admitted stealing more than a dozen items from the properties including lawn maintenance equipment and electronic goods, according to a Vandalia police report.

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