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Police find 24 stolen rifles

December 17, 2012
By MARK LAW - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - City Police officers early today chased a man who ran from an accident and ended up finding 24 rifles that had been stolen from a home in Wetzel County.

Officers were called around 3 a.m. today about a car that wrecked into a wall at Cardinal and Lawson avenues. Police a short time later were informed the car had just been reported stolen. Officers were told by witnesses that two men and a woman ran from the car and one man was still in the area.

Police saw the man walking in the 800 block of Rosswell Avenue and identified him as Kenneth Shepard, 25, of 820 Rosswell Ave. The officer told Shepard to stop because there was an active bench warrant out of municipal court for his arrest, but Shepard took off and went into a house at 820 Rosswell Ave.

City officers, a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy and an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper surrounded the home. A female there, who was the same person who called in the report of the stolen car, allowed the law enforcement officers to enter the home, police reported.

Officers went to an upstairs bedroom, where another woman said Shepard told her to lock him inside a closet. The lock and clasp on the door were removed, police reported. The door was opened and officers found the stolen rifles, police reported.

There was evidence that Shepard had climbed through an attic access in the ceiling of the closet. Not knowing if Shepard was armed, an officer opened the access door and sprayed pepper spray into the attic, police reported. Shepard came down from the attic a couple of minutes later, an officer said.

Shepard was taken to the Jefferson County jail on the bench warrant.

He faces 24 counts each of receiving stolen property and having a weapon as a convicted felon.

Shepard had been sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2010 after being convicted of two counts of breaking and entering, possession of criminal tools and felony vandalism in connection with him stealing copper piping.

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