Two arrested for local theft crimes


Two people were arrested this week for theft scams conducted at local businesses in the county.

Edward McClain Jr. and Rhonda L. Talley were both charged for theft offenses committed at local businesses in St. Paris and Mechanicsburg.

According to St. Paris Police Sgt. Zach Wilkson, on Monday at 5:34 p.m., St. Paris Police were dispatched to Subway, 9751 W. U.S. Highway 36, on a report of a possible robbery.

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office also responded to assist.

Once on the scene, it was discovered by St. Paris Police that a theft occurred in the form of a quick change scam.

Wilkson stated this is a process where a perpetrator confuses an employee by requesting a series of multiple transactions then walks away with more money than the perpetrator started with usually leaving the victim unaware of the theft that just occurred.

Subway employees advised police the perpetrators were an older male who was accompanied by an older female. No injuries were reported.

After reviewing video and identifying the suspects, Wilkson stated police acted quickly and sent out a BOLO alert to surrounding agencies for the suspects.

It was later reported that both subjects had possibly entered the IGA, 311 W. Main St., and attempted to perform the scam there as well.

At 6:45 p.m., the suspects were located by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office near Springfield.

Both suspects were arrested and transported to the Tri-County Jail, Mechanicsburg.

Wilkson credited the cooperation and quick response of all the individuals and departments involved for being able to apprehend the suspects quickly.

Mechanicsburg Police Chief John Alexander stated the suspects committed a similar crime at the Certified gas station, 283 W. Main St., Mechanicsburg, earlier that day.

McClain, 66, of 1870 Dunbar Drive, Apt. 83, Columbus, is charged with theft, theft by deception and complicity. According to the Champaign County Municipal Court, he pleaded not guilty to all charges and his bond was established at $10,000 on Tuesday. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10.

Talley, 51, of 1870 Dunbar Drive, Columbus, is charged with possessing criminal tools, complicity and attempt to commit an offense. According to the court’s website, she pleaded not guilty to all charges and her bond was established at $5,000. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9.



By Nick Walton

[email protected]

Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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