Today
85°
Mostly Cloudy
21%
Tonight
70°
Chance Thunderstorms
50%
Tomorrow
83°
Thunderstorms Likely
67%
Tomorrow Night
68°
Thunderstorms Likely
63%
Friday
81°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
22%
Friday Night
62°
Partly Cloudy
11%
Saturday
82°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
23%
Saturday Night
63°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
18%
Sunday
84°
Partly Sunny
10%
Sunday Night
65°
Mostly Clear
9%
Monday
86°
Partly Sunny
16%
Monday Night
67°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
31%
3 Day
Extended
Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Area men sent to prison for 70-plus vehicle break-ins

Several thefts occurred in Celina and Rockford

By Shelley Grieshop
Two area men have been sentenced and another has pleaded guilty to more than 70 vehicle break-ins in Mercer, Auglaize and Allen counties in the last year.
A total of 67 indictment charges were handed down by an Auglaize County grand jury since investigators arrested Billy Ray Pate, 21, Nicholas M. Redman, 19, and Corey W. Metz, 19, all of Wapakoneta in early February. Forty-nine of the charges have been dismissed in plea agreements.
Pate was sentenced recently in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court to nine years and 11 months in prison and ordered to pay $2,225.09 in restitution after pleading guilty two weeks ago to theft, two counts of breaking and entering, two counts of possession of criminal tools and burglary.
He faced a maximum 13 years behind bars.
Pate's accomplice, Redman, was sentenced to 11 years and four months in prison and ordered to pay the same amount in restitution as Pate after pleading guilty to theft, four counts of breaking and entering and three counts of burglary.
Redman faced a maximum 20 years in prison.
Metz pleaded guilty May 19 to breaking and entering, two counts of theft and burglary. He faces a maximum 41/2 years in prison. Sentencing is set for Tuesday.
A teenage boy also was arrested for the thefts, however, his name and case information was not released.
The arrests of the four were the result of a stake-out by St. Marys Police and the Auglaize County Sheriff's Office and occurred in an area near Beech Street in St. Marys where numerous vehicles had previously been broken into. Officers observed the suspects in a nearby parking lot, followed them and initiated a traffic stop at 10:20 p.m. Feb. 1.
Search warrants were obtained for the suspects' vehicle and a pair of apartments in Wapakoneta where they resided. Many stolen items were recovered in the search, according to St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven.
Drugs and drug paraphernalia were recovered in the suspects car, which was impounded by police.
Some of the stolen items included cash, cigarettes, PlayStation video games and numerous others, Foxhoven said.
Most of the Auglaize County break-ins occurred in the southwest region; several also occurred in Celina, Rockford and the Spencerville area. Authorities said some of the vehicles broken into were unlocked and others sustained damage when the thieves threw rocks or other objects at them to gain entry.
Additional online stories on this date
A Butler County man remains incarcerated awaiting grand jury action after he and a passenger ran afoul of Mercer County's two K-9 units.
Joshua Eva [More]
HUBER HEIGHTS - The run to state ended for the Parkway Panthers on Saturday as Triad ended the Panthers' season with a 5-0 decision at Wayne High School in Huber Heights in the Division IV Regional Championship game. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Big city politicians need more farm experience
Bulldogs are state bound
Cardinal boys, Tiger girls big winners
Schatz steals win from points leader
Coldwater gets two more for state meet