By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man has been charged with credit card theft as an investigation continues into a series of offenses that took place Tuesday afternoon and evening.
Others, including local teen-agers, could face charges in the wake of a Celina Police Department investigation that kept officers busy until early Wednesday morning.
Damion J. Post, 19, no address given, faces the felony charge in connection with the alleged theft of a purse at Dollar General, 116 S. Main St.
Employee Kimberly Schmidt reported the theft shortly after 5:30 p.m. and also told police officers her parked vehicle had been ransacked.
Officers spotted two suspects crossing Main Street a block away as they took the report from Schmidt. The pair fled east after being spotted. One suspect -- a 15-year-old Celina boy -- was apprehended a short time later on South Ash Street near Community First Bank. An officer happened to be passing by at the time of the call and transported him to the police department.
Post was apprehended at 6:11 p.m. in an alley near Paul's Mini Mall and the third suspect -- a 17-year-old boy -- also was taken into custody. A search of the surrounding area led to the recovery of a credit card that had been in Schmidt's wallet as well as ATM slips. A total of $43 dollars was recovered from the trio.
Statements made by the suspects led police to a home in the 200 block of South Ash Street, where the victim's purse was recovered. The tenants were interviewed and later released, but their statements led to the recovery of the victim's operator's license, Visa debit card and keys around 11 p.m.
Police later located a notebook containing several CDs taken from the Schmidt vehicle. They were recovered around midnight in a ditch along Monroe Road.
Other items, including personal papers belonging to Celina City Schools Superintendent Matt Miller, were located during the investigation. Police suspect the trio entered a van owned by Miller while it was parked along South Main Street that afternoon. The family was not aware that anything had occurred until police came to the door.
The investigation also determined the suspects may have been involved in the alleged sale of a ring at Jones Jewelers, 108 W. Market St., on Tuesday afternoon.
Police recovered the ring and are checking to determine its value and origin.
Post remains incarcerated at the Mercer County Jail pending the filing of the felony charge in Celina Municipal Court. The older juvenile was taken to the West Central Ohio Juvenile Detention Center in Troy while the younger one was released to relatives.
Celina Police Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard at least three additional suspects could face charges of receiving stolen property for their role in helping to dispose of various items. One of them, reportedly an 18-year-old Celina High School student, could face charges for providing transportation to the Monroe Road site.
The police department report has been forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office for review. Additional charges are expected.