Police: Suspected Van Thieves in Custody

WARREN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Two men and a teenager are in custody after police say they stole a family van and crashed it in Warren Township.

Phil Brady of Leavittsburg says he was lying down around 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning when he heard a noise.

“I said that sounds like my van, so I got up and went to the front door. By the time I got to the door, I heard the screeching tires taking off down the road,” said Brady.

Brady’s van was stolen right out of his driveway.

“Me and my wife’s heart just sank. It’s our only vehicle,” said Brady.

The only form of transportation for Phil, his wife and their four little girls was stolen.

“I’m on disability, a limited income, trying to take care of four small children. We are barely getting by as it is and now we don’t have a vehicle,” said Brady.

Warren Township Police say they got the call minutes after the van was stolen.

Police say a cruiser was in the area and noticed a van with the same description driving along Burnett Road.

“The officer tried to stop them and they took off along Burnett. There’s a bad curb there that was never replaced and they never made that bend. So they took out a hydrant and a pole and then they fled on foot,” said Lt. Don Bishop, with the Warren Township Police.

Police eventually took three suspects into custody, James Balch, 22, William McConnell, 18, and a 17-year-old juvenile.

“They don’t live in our town. They live in Newton Falls and based on information we’ve received, this is something they are doing, stealing vehicles,” said Lt. Bishop.

“Being a parent, trying to take care of your children and things are out of your control, it’s the worst feeling in the world,” said Brady.