Fourth Suspect Arrested In Food Pantry Theft

By: Danielle Staub, Stanley Jefferson Email
By: Danielle Staub, Stanley Jefferson Email
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UPDATED: 7/3/13

A fourth person is arrested in connection to the Marietta food pantry theft.

The Marietta Police Department says while investigating the break-in to the Gospel Mission Food Pantry last week, they noticed a man sitting on his porch watching.

Police say that man was William Mitchell.

Police the questioned Michell who said he did not see or hear anything the night of the break in.

During a follow up investigation a witness told police they saw Mitchell enter the pantry multiple times that night, along with others.

When confronted by the police Mitchell admitted that he held the door open while others went in and stole the multiple items.

As a result, Mitchell is charged with breaking and entering, obstructing official business, and failure to report a crime.

Three others have also been arrested in connect to the theft including Christopher Lent, Eric Science, and a 16-year-old boy.

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UPDATE: 6/30/2013 7:59 PM

Another arrest is made in the Gospel Mission Food Pantry theft as police continue to investigate.

Eric Sciance was arrested Saturday in connection with the theft. He's charged with complicity to breaking and entering.

On Friday, police arrested Christopher Lent. He's charged with the same crime. Lent's bond is set at $5,000, which he did not post.

Sciance is scheduled for arraignment Monday morning.

In total, police believe around 5 people are involved with taking food and supplies from the pantry on Wednesday night.
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UPDATE 6/30/13 5:18PM

Days after the break-in, volunteers at the Gospel Mission Food Pantry are moving forward continuing what they love doing best.

"We are anxiously waiting for the food pantry day. We look forward to that, we work hard six days a week to get it ready for Wednesday and we anxiously wait to get to help people and help them with their needs," says Gospel Mission Food Pantry Owner, Candy Waite.

Owner, Candy Waite, says she doesn't have a plan in place to prevent something like this from happening again.

But she is trusting god to help the pantry get back on it's feet.

"The only thing that we can do is to continue to pray and what has happen, the people or persons that did this, they intended it for evil but God turned it into something wonderful and good came out of it," added Waite.

Waite was devastated to hear one of the five suspects arrested for the theft is someone she knew very well.

He visited the pantry accepting free food and supplies.

"I was shocked that he was responsible for it. I stood and talked to him, I smiled with him, I talked to him on a lengthy conversation and I was very stunned to see that he did that to this community," replied Waite.

She discovered this freezer cleaned out Thursday morning when she opened up the pantry and now she is grateful to see all this food back to where it belongs.

"It brings such joy and happiness to me to know that we have meat to offer the people now that are in need. I'm so happy that we have meat to give them," Waite said.

Waite says despite what happened, it doesn't stop her from being a helping grace to the community.

When signing in to use the food pantry, Waite says they only require your name, phone number and how many in your household.

The Gospel Food Pantry has received $5,000 in cash plus numerous non-perishable food items from the community.
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UPDATE Friday 7:00PM

Marietta Police Department have one suspect is in custody tonight in connection to the Gospel Mission Food Pantry theft.

Officer Rhett Walters with the Marietta Police Department says they made contact with the suspect outside of his Harmar residence early Friday afternoon.

The suspect invited police into his home and denied everything. Police were able to see the stolen items all over the home. There were juveniles living in the residence as well.

The items were removed from the home around 5 PM.

Authorities say they have five suspects in the case and have made contact with three of them.

Police are aware of the locations of all the stolen items.

Police recovered a stereo and laptop from the residence that were stolen from the same building the pantry resides in.

Owner of the Gospel Mission Food Pantry, Candy Waite says she can't thank the community enough.

The Harmar Girl Scouts raised over $2,000 today plus food, for the pantry, from 12-6PM today outside the Marietta Wal-Mart.

The Washington District Club Scouts and Boy Scouts will be doing a food drive for the pantry as well this weekend, Saturday and Sunday at Krogers and Big Lots in Marietta starting at 10AM.

In total, during the last 24 hours the community has donated over $3,200 plus food and basic everyday items.
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UPDATE: 9:32 PM

Officials say it is a crime scene. The pantry was blocked off all day and no one could enter.

Police called the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation who arrived on scene around 4 PM.

Owner Candy Waite came in this morning to work and didn't see any red flags until she got in the door. There was so sign of forced entry.

When Candy arrived inside the pantry this morning there was a tote, a plastic container sitting on the desk and things seemed to be in disarray. Candy says they clean up the pantry when they leave at night so this was her first red flag. She then went to grab a bottle of water and they were gone.

It was at this point that Candy went into where they store the food and it was wiped clean.

Officials say someone robbed the pantry, taking 90% of their food supply, donation jar and a freezer full of meat.

Police have been on scene all day.

Captain of the Marietta Police Department, Jeff Waite, who is also Candy's husband says they never expected anything like this to happen.

"It's pretty devastating, it is something she puts her heart and soul and passion into is helping others, and then we end up with someone breaking in and taking a huge chunk on food, so it's devastating to say the least, " said Captain Jeff Waite, Marietta Police Department.

Candy says the food pantry feeds over 400 people every week, around 161 families and this is a huge set back for them.

Candy received word that a Harmar Girl Scout Troop will be setting up an emergency donation table at the Marietta Wal-Mart tomorrow afternoon from 12-4 PM so anyone can bring donations.

She says during just Thursday afternoon alone, many had brought donations to the pantry, including around $225 in checks and cash.

Gospel Mission Food Pantry is located on Lancaster St. in Marietta, on the Harmar side of the Putnam St. Bridge.

To donate:
Gospel Mission Food Pantry
P.O Box 6, Marietta Ohio 45750

Candy says she is at the food pantry during these times:
Monday, Tuesday Thursday and Friday 4:30-8 PM
Saturday's 11-5 PM
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Authorities are investigation a break-in at the Gospel Mission Food Pantry.

The food pantry is located on Lancaster St. in Marietta.

The owner, Candy Waite, says when she arrived Thursday morning there were no signs of forced entry. But, when she entered the facility was in disarray.

Waite says 90% of the food gone, including a freezer full of meat that was received on Wednesday.

The Marietta Police Department is investigating the crime & the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting.


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