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Local traffic stop nets stolen semi batteries, 3 arrests

Scott Seitz2 • Feb 8, 2014 at 6:07 AM

Three Willard residents were arrested Saturday on a variety of possible charges after a traffic stop in Celeryville.

Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard said Deputy Eric Bardar stopped a vehicle which contained three individuals who were ultimately arrested.

Joseph Dye, 32, and Heather Steinmetz, 30, were each taken into custody on undisclosed warrants.

They both could also face a number of drug-related charges stemming from the stop.

"During the stop, Deputy Bardar uncovered significant evidence of crimes," the sheriff said, adding the deputy seized drug-abuse instruments and suspected drugs, which will be sent to the crime lab for testing.

But, the investigation didn't end there.

Bardar uncovered evidence which implicated Dye in the alleged theft of eight, large semi-truck batteries from an undisclosed location.

"The batteries have a total value of $2,000," Howard said.

"The batteries were taken earlier that day and transferred by the suspects to a location in Morrow County," he added. "The significant part is this was a fairly sophisticated operation where the suspect had built a device to move the batteries from the trucks to the getaway car."

The suspects would then sell the batteries and use the proceeds on heroin, Howard said.

"This was good work by Deputy Bardar," the sheriff said. "He was able to uncover the drug crimes and then uncover the theft of the batteries before that crime was even reported."

A third individual, Laura Hunt, 28, was located in the vehicle and arrested.

"The Huron County Sheriff's Office had been actively looking for her for questioning in a case involving the theft of a family debit card where $1,000 was withdrawn from an ATM," Detective Sgt. Josh Querin said.

"She (Hunt) was arrested and taken to the jail," Querin added.

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