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Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Pair charged in break-in at local cellphone store

By Margie Wuebker
Two Dayton men believed to be part of a group suspected in multiple cellphone store break-ins in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, are facing local charges for a "smash and grab" at a local business.
Eighteen-year-old Antone Jackson Jr. is scheduled to appear for arraignment at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Mercer County Common Pleas Court. Jackson, who remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond, was indicted Feb. 14 on fifth-degree felony charges of breaking and entering and theft.
Cory Deon Richardson Jr., 20, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail Monday night on similar charges. He is to be brought to Mercer County later today; no court appearance has been set.
Celina Police Detective Ron Waltmire said authorities believe two juveniles from the Dayton area also were involved in the "smash and grab" incident at R G Sound and Communications, 1701 Industrial Drive, on Dec. 29. No other charges have been filed.
Waltmire said he suspected the local incident was part of organized criminal activity, particularly when he heard reports of similar thefts throughout the Miami Valley.
Police went to the local business at 8 a.m. Dec. 29 after receiving a call about a break-in at a similar business in Wapakoneta. They discovered forced entry had been made during the early morning hours.
"We immediately put out the word locally as well as on social media that we were looking for at least three black men in a maroon, four-door sedan," the detective said. "We quickly learned of similar activity elsewhere."
Surveillance video from the Celina business showed three suspects entering the store after smashing through the front door. They reportedly grabbed cellphones and other items valued at more than $1,000 but less than $7,500.   
Jackson also faces multiple charges in other jurisdictions including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity, breaking and entering, theft, grand theft and money laundering.
Richardson has not been served charges from other jurisdictions, according to the Montgomery County Jail website.
Jackson and Richardson allegedly were involved in what authorities have labeled "Group #2" activities. Indictments filed last week in Greene County accuse five men, ages 18 to 20, in connection with at least 27 break-ins in 22 jurisdictions in a three-state area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 31.
Additionally, two Dayton men - ages 18 and 34 - in Group #1 have been indicted in Warren County in connection with at least 34 break-ins in 27 jurisdictions between April 30, 2012, and Nov. 6, 2013.
The individuals typically targeted Verizon Wireless or other cellphone stores and are believed to have stolen more than $300,000 in electronic devices. They allegedly sold the devices and spent money on items like designer clothing and hotel rooms, according to a release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Although the two groups are charged as separate criminal organizations, investigators found both groups used an identical method of operation, and some suspects are believed to have committed crimes with both sets of individuals.
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