STEUBENVILLE - Two men taken into custody Thursday in connection with an investigation into the recent thefts of telephone wire in the Steubenville-Mingo Junction area will not be charged at this time, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Friday afternoon.
One of the suspects was being held on a probation violation. That man was on probation after pleading guilty a year ago to taking about 1,000 feet of telephone cable in November 2009 in the Toronto-Empire area. He was sentenced to six months in the Eastern Ohio Correction Center and placed on 18 months of probation. Abdalla said the state also has a parole hold on the man. The sheriff said West Virginia authorities also want the man for unspecified charges.
The other suspect was sentenced to one year in prison in 2008 after pleading guilty to stealing telephone wire in the Montwell Drive area of Mingo Junction.
The men were arrested Thursday at a home on El Villa Way after they were found hiding in an attic. Deputies found what an AT&T representative said was telephone wire inside the car the men were driving.
The sheriff's department was notified Thursday that about 150 feet of telephone wire was stolen along Steubenville Township Road 167A, Mingo Junction. An Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation agent was called to the scene to check for fingerprints on the wire.
An AT&T representative told deputies about 1,300 feet of telephone wire was stolen in the Steubenville-Mingo Junction area in the past several weeks.