LIMA — Even as the alleged thieves started appearing in court, officials found more stolen goods.
Moments after the three men charged waived hearings Thursday, sending their case to a grand jury for consideration, Hardin County Sheriff Detective Michael Conley said investigators have returned to two locations and found more property.
Aaron Sells, 27, Michael Moore, 21, and Jasin Rorabough, 19, made their first appearance in a courtroom with attorneys Thursday. It was their first chance to hear the evidence the prosecution has against them, so far.
They waived the hearings at the advice of their court-appointed attorney.
Hardin County Municipal Judge Gregory Grimslid lowered bond for Moore and Rorabough to $25,000 cash, saying the charge didn’t support a $50,000 bond. The judge, however, kept bond at $50,000 for Sells, who is shaping up to be the principal player in the theft ring.
Prosecutor Brad Bailey said deputies recovered at least seven or eight guns buried on the property at 16363 Township Road, near Ridgeway. That location is owned by Sells’ mother.
The investigation has revealed stolen coins found while other evidence was sold, Bailey said.
“Most of the property was from (Sells’) neighbors in the neighborhood he lives,” Bailey said.
Sells and Moore live in Mount Victory while Rorabough lives in Ridgeway.
It’s unclear when the grand jury will meet to consider the case. Conley said the grand jury meets once a month and he did not have the date of the next meeting which takes place behind closed doors.
Conley expects other charges on top of the receiving stolen property charge the three men are held on. A fourth man, who tipped authorities to the location of the stolen property following a traffic stop, has yet to be charged. Conley said he is trying to determine the extent of that man’s involvement.
It’s also possible others may be charged, Conley said.
Deputies spent four days last week digging on the Township Road property. They unearthed guns buried in garbage bags and found hundreds of items believed to be stolen inside outbuildings and in the house.
There was a mixture of everything from dirt bikes and ATVs to jewelry, yard equipment and vehicles.
Conley estimates the value of the property may reach $100,000. One item was reported stolen from Cincinnati but Conley cannot say whether the men stole it directly or acquired it from other thieves.
Investigators anticipate it will take months to catalog the items and match property to owners.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office has been overwhelmed with calls from people wanting to claim property. Instead of calling, Conley is asking people to contact him via email@example.com or fax 419-675-7260. Please include as much detail as possible of the item, its serial number and the police report from when it was taken.