STEUBENVILLE - A man who is a suspect in six burglaries in Jefferson and Harrison counties during the weekend, and possibly an attempted armed robbery Sunday morning at the McDonald's in the city, was arrested this morning on North Seventh Street as multiple police agencies were on the lookout to prevent more business break-ins.
Michael Hawthorne, 31, of Wayne Township Road 31, Parlett, was arrested by City Police around 6 a.m. today after he was seen by a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy at the front door to Family Dollar, 240 N. Seventh St.
Hawthorne was driving a city water department van, which was reported stolen sometime prior to Saturday from the filtration plant on University Boulevard, according to City Police and the sheriff's department. Hawthorne wrecked the van on Highland Avenue and took off running before he was caught in the fenced area around the Polish Athletic Club at 433 N. Seventh St., the sheriff's department reported.
The burglaries began on Saturday morning when Woods Grocery in Hopedale was broken into when the city water department van was used to smash into the front door. Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said security video at the store showed the city water department van there. The Country Store in Hopedale and the Loading Zone in Bloomingdale also were burglarized Saturday. Abdalla said security video at the Loading Zone showed the city water department van there.
Then, on Sunday morning, the Dollar General on state Route 43, Wintersville, the Sportsman's Trading Post at 501 Cadiz Road, Wintersville, and Smith Oil on state Route 43, Wintersville, all were broken into. Abdalla said seven handguns were stolen from the Sportsman's Trading Post. He said all three burglaries happened within 25 minutes.
All the burglaries happened when either the glass door or a window was broken. Cigarettes were taken from several of the businesses, Abdalla said.
Possibly tied into the burglaries was an attempted armed robbery of McDonald's on Sunset Boulevard around 6:41 a.m. Sunday.
City Police reported a man pulled up to the drive-through window in a pickup truck and brandished a handgun and demanded money. A worker inside the restaurant moved away from the window and the driver fled. The pickup truck was discovered by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper near the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Pittsburgh Street around 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
City Police reported the pickup truck was stolen from M&M Hardware, 4148 Sunset Blvd., and a fence and gate at the business, where the pickup was parked, were smashed.
The pickup truck stolen from M&M Hardware was seen on security tapes at Dollar General in Wintersville, Abdalla said.
He noted numerous deputies and other law enforcement agencies were patrolling throughout Jefferson County and in the city trying to catch the burglar in the act. He said a deputy was in a private vehicle when that deputy saw Hawthorne at the door of Family Dollar early today.
Abdalla said his department and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification are processing the crime scenes and the city water department van for evidence. The sheriff said there is evidence linking most of the burglaries together.