Fifty suspects sought in Columbiana County police roundup
Four law enforcement agencies teamed-up to arrest some of the most wanted in Columbiana County.
It's called "Operation Fall," and 21 News tagged along as police traveled from one neighborhood to another, looking for suspects for crimes including rape, burglary, cocaine possession, and domestic violence.
At last check, at least ten of the 50 people have been arrested, and 32-year-old suspect Travis Keener is in custody in West Virginia, accused of conveyance into a jail.
The multi-jurisdictional operation that was centered in East Liverpool was designed to take action on a backlog of warrants, and some indictments.
The goal was to arrest 50 criminal suspects, and "Operation Fall" even had a ten most wanted list.
At the first home officers traveled to on Hollywood Avenue near Dewey, police armed with long guns surrounded the home for safety when they saw movement on the second floor. But no one responded to knocks on the door.
Officers at one point then traveled to another location, but quickly returned to Hollywood Avenue when they learned the suspect was home.
As police were granted permission by the owner to enter the home, they announced their presence, "Police department, we're coming in."
Just seconds later, a man peeking from behind curtains in a second-floor window yells, "I'm coming out, I'm coming out."
Twenty-three-year-old Curtis Holland, who was wanted for an aggravated burglary emerged from the home in handcuffs, escorted by Columbiana County Sheriff's Deputies and local police.
Holland was number two on the top ten list, a 20-year-old female rape suspect was number one.
East Liverpool Mayor Ryan Stovall tells 21 News, "When you're rebuilding the city like we're trying to do here, you have to get that criminal element under control and really enforce the laws, and that's what we're doing."
Law enforcement officers from East Liverpool Police Department, St. Clair Township, Liverpool Township, and the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office made their way to each suspect's address one after the other. But there were several obstacles, suspects who have moved and those who don't want to turn themselves in.
East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane says, "One of them we contacted today and told him to come down here and turn himself in, and we still had to track him down. He was hiding in the house."
Police say even the public teamed up to help. Randy Schneider, Administrative Assistant to the East Liverpool Police Chief and a 911 Dispatcher, said, "Those who live here don't want these people in their neighborhoods, they want the drugs out, they want the violence out, and the neighbors are helping us -- saying oh he moved out, but he lives down there."
Chief Lane says some who have warrants for low-level crimes -- only owe a fine, and could take care of what they owe and be released.
If you know the whereabouts of anyone who has a criminal warrant for their arrest in Columbiana County, contact East Liverpool Police or the Columbiana County Sheriff's Office.