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Self-described 'softie' victimized by couple

TNS Regional News • Feb 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM

An 83-year-old Denmark Township man who admits he can’t say no has reported the theft of a vehicle he loaned a couple of guests wanted on felony warrants, according to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say the Netcher Road resident has been warned numerous times about opening his door to unsavory characters. Asked why he continually welcomes crooks into his home, the man told deputies he’s “just too nice of a guy” and he can’t “say no to people,” according to a report.

Before his 1999 sedan vanished, the man drove a woman and man to various stores where they made purchases — reportedly with a credit card the male guest took from his 85-year-old grandmother a few days earlier. The older man also provided the identification needed to redeem some of the illegal store purchases for cash at a local buy-back shop.

The Denmark man is the common denominator in two cases: stolen car and stolen credit, deputies said. The man, who has not been charged in either crime, told deputies he did not personally profit from the capers.

The credit card caper was reported to deputies on Feb. 14. The victim, from Saybrook Township, said she was contacted by her bank about suspicious charges to her card. The woman suspects a female friend of her 32-year-old grandson took the card when the pair visited her home.

One week later, the Netcher Road man reported the stolen car. The man said two guests — the man and woman involved in the credit card theft — asked to borrow the car to attend a funeral. They promised to return the car in two hours, the victim told deputies.

It’s not the first time the man has been involved with people he apparently knew were criminals, deputies said in a report. In this particular situation, the man’s “kindness” inadvertently aided a theft, fraud and other serious crimes, deputies said. The man was warned to be more choosy in the people he allows into his house, according to a report.


Mark Todd - Star Beacon, Ashtabula, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 the Star Beacon (Ashtabula, Ohio)

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