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West Liberty, OH

Multi-county theft ring busted

A four day investigation following a traffic stop ignited an investigation that busted an apparent high dollar theft ring.

Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart said what started Monday night with a traffic stop of a suspicious vehicle culminated in a four-day execution of search warrants at three properties in two counties, one in Logan County at 16363 Township Road 204, three arrests and the break-up of a multi-county theft ring.

What is likely to be hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen property has been seized. Hardin County sheriff’s detective Mike Conley said they found power tools and high-end electronics, bicycles, boat trailers, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles, along with a log-splitter and a dune buggy.

By Friday night, authorities had filled two flatbed trailers, an enclosed semi trailer and an enclosed car hauler with what they believe to be stolen goods.

Items were found in several places: inside the two-story, dilapidated farmhouse, many outbuildings, and buried deep in the ground of the 8-acre property. Also found were eight stolen guns wrapped in plastic garbage bags.

Three men have been charged with receiving stolen property, including 27-year-old Aaron Sells, whose parents, Herbert C. and Elizabeth Sells, own the property and live there. The parents have not been charged. Others charged include two friends of Sells, Michael Moore, 21, and Jasin Rorabough, 19. All three live in the area.

The suspects have bond hearings scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday in Hardin County Municipal Court.

Everhart said he expects additional charges against them and others.

So far, sheriffs from Logan and Union counties have been on site and identified some of the goods as stolen from burglaries in their counties. Authorities also linked some of the stuff to thefts in Cincinnati, and Franklin, Marion and Shelby counties.

Sells had previously been shot in November 2009 by two teenagers who caught him breaking into their family’s barn. He served 10 days in jail for the incident, Hardin County court records show.

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