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Burglary suspects indicted

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Xenia residents Oliver Simons and Bianca Stone Chappelle were indicted last week by a Greene County grand jury on felony charges related to burglaries that occurred in Yellow Springs. The two former Yellow Springs residents were arrested on May 8 and served on May 20 in Greene County Jail, where they are awaiting a court date.

The suspects are charged with burglarizing at least nine homes in the village between January and May, and both selling stolen items and laundering the proceeds. Simons was indicted with 10 felonies, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first degree felony; conspiracy to commit engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second degree felony; burglary as a second degree felony; two counts of burglary as a third degree felony; two counts of money laundering, a third degree felony; and three counts of receiving stolen property, a fifth degree felony. Chappelle was indicted for single counts of the same offenses (except the third degree felony burglary), and both were also charged with four misdemeanors of receiving stolen property.

In most cases, the degree of the charges depended on the value of the items taken, according to Yellow Springs Police Chief Anthony Pettiford. First degree felonies in Ohio are punishable by 3–10 years jail time and up to $20,000 in fines. Second degree felonies come with 2–8 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Those convicted of first-degree misdemeanors get up to six months in jail and as much as $1,000 in fines.

Yellow Springs Police and the Greene County ACE Task Force continue to investigate the case, and now believe it may involve thefts that occurred in the village before January 2013, according to Pettiford this week. Many of the stolen items have been found or recovered from pawn shops in Xenia and Greene County, and some have been returned to their owners. Police are still analyzing the evidence, as well as the illicit drugs and drug paraphernalia that were recovered at the Xenia home where the suspects were arrested.

Simons, 34, and Chappelle, 33, both have a history of theft. Chappelle was charged with an unrelated burglary in February, and was still on probation for the incident when she was arrested this month. Simons has served time in state penitentiaries in both Ohio and New York for similar activities.

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