YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Mahoning County grand jury Thursday indicted a man described as a “menace to Boardman Township” on second-degree felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity because of his alleged chronic shoplifting.
Alvin Traylor, III, 54, of East Boston Avenue, was also indicted on eight counts of misdemeanor petty theft charges. Those are on top of a December arrest on warrants on two felony and five misdemeanor theft charges. He is presently being held in the Mahoning County Jail on $10,000 bond in that case and is expected to be arraigned next week in common pleas court on the new felony.
A search of Traylor’s name in just Mahoning County Court records alone pulled up 51 entries dating back to 1998.
In his current indictment, Traylor is charged with eight separate thefts between June 3 and Oct. 4. He is accused of taking things twice from Meijer; twice from Macy’s in the Southern Park Mall; and from Lowe’s, Dollar General, Family Dollar and America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, all in Boardman.
He is accused of conspiring with four other people in the thefts. Assistant Prosecutor Michael Yacovone said those other people face charges in other cases, but Traylor is the linchpin in all of those thefts, which is why he was charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
“He’s the common element in every single one of these [thefts],” Yacovone said.
Township police Chief Todd Werth said he is very familiar with Traylor, calling him a “frequent flier,” or someone with whom police regularly come into contact.
Yacovone said Traylor’s record is so bad he should be banned from any store in Boardman, saying he is a “menace to Boardman Township.” He said he asked the grand jury to indict on the corrupt activity charge so that there is the possibility he can get a more substantial sentence than he could if he was sentenced on misdemeanor charges, which carry a maximum sentence of six months for a first-degree misdemeanor.
The corrupt activity charge has a sentencing range of from two to eight years.
Werth said shoplifting or thefts, while considered by some to be a minor crime, can tie up a lot of police resources. Not only do police answer a call but if they take someone into custody, they take them back to the township police station and fingerprint them, which is important because if they are ever arrested anywhere else, that jurisdiction can know their criminal history and if they have an outstanding warrant from Boardman.
If not taken to jail, suspects are issued a summons to appear in court but that also means an officer has to take time off the road to go to court or come in if they are off and be paid court time, Werth said.
“It’s very labor and resource intensive,” Werth said.
Yacovone said Traylor seems to prefer clothes at Macy’s and he has taken designer eyeglass frames in the past as well.