$50,000 bond set for men charged in Hardin County theft ring

December 3, 2012

KENTON — Three men accused of stealing thousands of dollars in property in a crime spree unearthed last week asked a judge Monday for an early Christmas present by letting them out on bond.

Hardin County Municipal Judge Gregory Grimslid refused, setting bond at $50,000 for each of the three defendants. All are charged, for now, with receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony.

Aaron Sells, 27, told the judge he couldn’t afford to hire an attorney and asked for a court-appointed lawyer. He said he was on Social Security and food stamps. The judge assigned him an attorney. Sells also asked the judge to let him out so he could see his daughter and wife at Christmas, but his plea didn’t work.

Michael Moore, 21, and Jasin Rorabough, 19, also appeared in court asking for attorneys. The judge found they could not afford them and made appointments.

All three men will be back in court Thursday at a preliminary hearing, where more information in the case may surface, although it’s likely all the evidence has surfaced.

A fourth man was in custody but was being held on an unrelated charge in another case. Hardin County Prosecutor Brad Bailey declined to say whether the man will be charged in this case.

The case will be presented to the Hardin County grand jury, and there could be more people charged, Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart said.

Hardin County deputies were at Sells’ parents’ home at 16363 Township Road 204, just north of Ridgeway, on Friday, digging with trackhoes and backhoes.

Sells is accused of burying guns on the property in shallow holes. Deputies also confiscated truckloads of other items, such as all-terrain vehicles, electronic equipment, vehicles, lawn mowers, toys and other items from as many as five buildings and a house on the property.

Everhart called the theft ring the biggest he has ever seen in nearly 20 years in law enforcement. The ring stretches into several other counties and may break the $100,000 value in property.

Everhart said it will take months to process all items. In the mean time, he urged people to submit the previous police report when the property was stolen to his office. If it was not reported, people should provide identifying information, such as a serial number and proof of purchase.

Everhart said the sheriff’s office has been overwhelmed with calls by people wanting their property back. Everhart said people can get their property back with proof of ownership but cautioned it will take months to process the information.

He asked the public to submit claims by e-mail or fax, be patientand not contact his office by phone. An investigator will contact people as property is matched to owners, which will take months, he said.

“This is going to take a while. It isn’t going to be overnight,” he said.