WARSAW — An Ohio man is facing corrupt business influence charges after stealing from a local Lowe’s.
Joshua C. Armstrong, 25, 1333 Goodale Ave., Toledo, Ohio, is being charged with corrupt business influence, a level 5 felony, and theft, a level 6 felony.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, officers with the Warsaw Police Department responded to a theft at Lowe’s on Jan. 28.
An officer met with Lowe’s loss prevention, who advised that on Jan. 28 two subjects entered the store and took a shopping cart to the tool section. They selected three DeWalt power tools, two Bosch power tools, and Turtle battery. The combined value was $1279.25. The subjects then pushed the cart to the front of the store, removed the tools and ran out without paying.
The affidavit states that Lowe’s employees gave the officer the license plate number and vehicle description, as well as surveillance footage.
When the officer searched the license plate number it returned to a female who has been incarcerated since Dec. 28. When the officer spoke to the female, she gave him the name of the vehicle’s owner. The female had registered the vehicle because the owner had an active warrant.
According to the affidavit, the officer then obtained the inmate’s phone calls. Thirteen calls had been placed to a number associated with the vehicle owner, one being on the day of the theft. The officer stated that, by the conversation, the inmate was telling the vehicle owner to get the vehicle out of her name.
On Feb. 7 the officer called the vehicle owner and recognized her voice from the recordings of the inmate’s phone calls. The vehicle owner denied her identity and told the officer, “Quit calling b***h, before I kill you.”
The affidavit continues that the officer obtained inmate phone calls made to the vehicle owner after Feb. 7. In these recordings was a phone call from another female. During this call the vehicle owner admits she was called by a Warsaw number and “didn’t know how they [police] found her number” and admitted to telling the detective “I’ll kill you.” The female advises her to “be cool on the Lowe’s.” The vehicle owner then states she wants to steal three or four more times.
The same female had called the vehicle owner on Jan. 30. In this call, the vehicle owner stated stealing from Lowe’s was her new income and she had been stealing for 2 1/2 months from various stores.
The officer spoke with Lowe’s loss prevention and other police departments and verified the thefts. He also verified the vehicle owner’s identity from surveillance footage and an obtained photo, allowing him to determine that the Warsaw Lowe’s and three other Lowe’s theft were committed by the vehicle owner and a male later identified as Armstrong.
Armstrong had been arrested in another county for theft from a Lowe’s. The officer was given Armstrong’s booking photo and was able to identify him in the Warsaw Lowe’s footage.
An officer with Trotwood, Ohio Police interviewed Armstrong. The affidavit advises that Armstrong admitted to committing several thefts with the vehicle owner in several states.
Armstrong was booked into Kosciusko County Jail and held on $12,000 surety and cash bond.