Three people sent to prison in statewide office creeper case

Crime ring stole credit cards out of purses and wallets of unsuspecting employees in offices.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Feb 4, 2014

 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell announced that three individuals have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a statewide crime ring that involved sneaking into dozens of corporations throughout Ohio and stealing employees’ credit cards.

Larry D. Cobb, 55, was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday. Cobb pleaded guilty to Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.

Also Monday, Kristina M. Petty, 37, was sentenced to four years in prison. She pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Engage in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity. In December, Deshawn Mitchell, 35, was sentenced to three years in prison. In January, Jodie Petty, 31, was sentenced to community control; she is currently serving a prison sentence for related charges in other counties.

“These individuals were part of a large crime ring that stole credit cards out of the purses and wallets of unsuspecting employees in offices stretching from Cincinnati to Youngstown and many places in between,” DeWine said. “We are grateful to the many law enforcement agencies that helped to investigate these crimes and put an end to this scam.”

“Larry Cobb and his co-defendants are professional thieves, plain and simple. This case serves as a reminder to local businesses to re-visit their security policies and procedures to ensure that their employees aren’t victimized by unauthorized persons on their premises,” Fornshell said. “I am particularly proud of the work done by Attorney General DeWine’s office, BCI, employees from our office, as well as all the other law enforcement agencies around this state who spent countless hours investigating and prosecuting this case.”

According to special prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office, Cobb, who formed the criminal enterprise in 2012, sneaked into office buildings and stole credit cards, cash, and other items left unattended. Cobb and his co-conspirators then used the stolen credit cards to quickly buy electronics, gift cards, and other items they could sell for cash.

The case was investigated by about 35 law enforcement agencies across the state with assistance from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).