Created on Thursday, 12 September 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
A man suspected of robbing Community Market, 309 N. Main St., on May 24 and five other groceries in Ohio was charged Tuesday in indictments handed up by a Logan County grand jury.
Michael J. Fette, 46, of Lancaster was charged with first-degree counts of aggravated robbery and kidnapping for the Bellefontaine robbery.
He is suspected of committing similar robberies in Huron, Champaign, Athens, Pickaway and Knox counties.
Bellefontaine Police Det. Dwight Salyers has taken a lead investigative role in the case working with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
It is possible that all of the cases could be consolidated into a statewide prosecution, and Tuesday’s indictment puts the local charges into the record.
The defendant was caught Aug. 28 coming out of a grocery store in Willard with $29,000 and a handgun.
A resident reported a suspicious vehicle parked next to a trash bin outside Missler’s IGA.
When Willard police officers arrived to check on the vehicle, they observed the suspect walking out carrying a bucket. He ran and ditched the bucket during the brief chase.
Willard officers recovered zip ties from his waistband and a 9mm handgun, cash, extra ammunition and zip ties from a bucket. Still more evidence was recovered from the suspect’s vehicle.
It appears evidence recovered Aug. 28 links the suspect to the May 24 robbery.
Willard grocery store clerks told police the suspect entered the store at closing time and asked for help in locating his missing cell phone.
He pulled a gun and forced clerks into the store’s front office. The cash was taken from a safe.
The store owners walked in on the robbery around 10:17 p.m. Sunday.
In the Bellefontaine robbery, the suspect also claimed to be looking for his cell phone prior to forcing clerks into a back room and ordering them to tie each other up with zip ties.
Other indictments charged:
• Steven Treen, 40, of 217 W. Auburn Ave.: two counts of rape, first-degree felonies; gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony; and gross sexual imposition, a fourth-degree felony (CLICK HERE for related story);
• Kyle Pool, 28, of 1112 Milligan Drive: rape, a first-degree felony;
• Joseph Burton, 24, of Troy: felonious assault, a second-degree felony;
• Nathan Beach, 26, of 500 Gunntown Road, Apt. H12: burglary, a third-degree felony; and
• Kathy Puckett, 28, of 500 Gunntown Road, Apt. H12: burglary, a third-degree felony.