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2 accused of stealing tires from Chillicothe car dealership

Ronald Perkins and Maridra Stepp were arrested Wednesday morning.

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Two people are facing charges for allegedly stealing spare tires off vehicles at a Chillicothe car dealership.

“They were on the lot for over an hour-and-a-half, two hours,” Charlie Vest, IT Director for Herrnstein Automotive said. “It was very organized how they did it.”

Vest said surveillance camera captured two vehicles entering the lot at Herrnstein Automotive and going in different directions on Jan. 20 around 4:30 a.m. 

He said working in tandem, they were able to loosen tire latches and then, when the moment was right, they struck.

“They took an impact, probably, and buzzed them all off,” he said. “Threw [the tires] in the back of their truck, turned around and took off.”

In all, eight tires and wheels were stolen, seven of which were brand new. Vest estimates the price of each to be between $800 and $1,000.

The dealership posted pictures showing the black truck hoping for answers.

“But we never thought they would be so stupid as to just come back on the lot,” Vest said.

He says those same thieves came back and were noticed by a night watchman. 

The Chillicothe Police Department responded in minutes and later posted about the arrests of Ronald Perkins of Columbus and Maridra Stepp of Chillicothe.

Vest says he hopes this will spark change. He’s wanting to create an organization for local businesses that will help stop crime and will help to prosecute those responsible.

“The only way we’re going to get some resolve and hopefully change this pattern as a community…we’re going to have to all be like amateur sleuths and just get involved,” he said.

Perkins and Stepp were charged with criminal trespass, possession of criminal tools and charged for theft on both dates. Both are currently in custody at the Ross County Jail.

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