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Dickinson men plead not guilty to conspiracy to commit theft of property

Dickinson residents Jayden Schmidt, 20, and Belfield resident Matthew Key, who was born in 1992, both pleaded not guilty regarding a car theft incident that occurred in September at an arraignment Monday at Stark County Courthouse.

Dickinson residents Jayden Schmidt, 20, and Belfield resident Matthew Key, who was born in 1992, both pleaded not guilty regarding a car theft incident that occurred in September at an arraignment Monday at Stark County Courthouse.

Dickinson Police officers testified at a preliminary hearing that they were called to a business that reported car parts stolen, where they viewed security footage that showed what one officer described as a late-1980s Ford pickup truck as the only vehicle that entered the parking lot during the night of the incident.

The officer said the pickup moved to where it was obscured from the camera’s view, and that no activity could be seen. It also purportedly left by an alternate route that was not captured by the camera, he said.

The officer said he spotted a very similar-looking pickup in a driveway as he was on patrol days later, alongside which he said was a Honda Civic that looked to contain a battery matching a description of one that was taken from the auto business.

After procuring a search warrant, officers entered the residence with the vehicles and discovered Schmidt, Key and Dickinson resident Tyler Pasco, along with a mass of car parts that included some that police confirmed stolen.

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A Honda Civic was also discovered in the garage that came up as stolen.

From interviews done with the suspects, officers pieced together that the three of them had driven to the auto business, where one or more of them had made the decision to steal rims. It was subsequently decided that a whole vehicle could be stolen instead, and the officers said they learned that Schmidt had helped Pasco to get the vehicle running before Pasco drove it off and stored it in a broken-into storage unit.

The vehicle was then driven to the residence at which it was discovered.

Schmidt, Key and Pasco were each charged with the Class C felony of conspiracy to commit theft of property, while Schmidt was also charged with a Class A misdemeanor of the same.

Schmidt’s and Key’s attorneys argued that their clients’ level of involvement in the crime was disputable, especially that of Key, but Southwest District Judge Rhonda Ehlis reasoned that since all of the defendants were cited as being at the scene of the theft, there was plausible evidence that each of them were technically conspirators in the act.

Related Topics: THEFT
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