Convenience store ice cubes prove to be break in bizarre Ohio breaking-and-entering case

After seeing the cubes, an officer went to a nearby UDF on a hunch to check out some surveillance video

Convenience store ice cubes prove to be break in bizarre Ohio breaking-and-entering case
FILE PHOTO (Source: Pexels)

GOSHEN, Ohio (FOX19) - A Goshen woman says she’s lucky to be alive after getting knocked unconscious when she caught four people allegedly trying to rob her property.

It happened July 13 at a home off Belfast Road. How the case got solved sounds like something ripped right out of the movies -- a cup of ice helped lead police to the people accused of assaulting her.

Goshen Police Chief Bob Rose said Officer Greg McAllister is in and out of a lot of convenience stores, talking to people and making connections in his community every day. He noticed a blue insulated cup the four had left behind at the crime scene and recognized the unique shape of the ice cubes and on a hunch, went to the UDF closest to the crime scene.

On their surveillance video, Rose said he found the four suspects carrying the very blue cup they’d left behind before committing that crime.

(Clockwise, from upper left) Lawson, Snider, Pappas, Combs
(Clockwise, from upper left) Lawson, Snider, Pappas, Combs (Source: FOX19)

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said she came home to find four thieves stealing from her detached garage.

"We heard a truck over there earlier that day, but it’s our neighbors, it’s their business, we weren’t sure what they were doing,” said neighbor Lonnie Reynolds, adding he did not hear any kind of confrontation that night.

The victim declined to do an interview on camera about the ordeal, but said when she tried to snap a pic of their license plate, they tried to back over her with their truck, so she hopped up in the back of theirs, to avoid getting pinned in between hers and their truck. She said they stopped, threw her out of their truck, stole her phone, then knocked her unconscious -- she has no idea for how long.

“She had red spot across the side of her face and she was rubbing it,” said Reynolds, who found her in his driveway. “She was wandering down the driveway, she was very delirious or whatever, from whatever happened to her and she said, ‘I’m not real sure what just happened, but I think I’ve been robbed.’”

They called 911 immediately.

"We had her come inside and made her as comfortable as we could and once they showed up at her house, I walked her back over to her property,” said Reynolds. "She was just dazed and confused and wandered over here, we did what we could to help."

The biggest break in the case came when Capt. Don Hampton, Officer Greg McAllister, and Det. Steve Maynard collected evidence at the scene. That’s when McAllister recognized the unique shape of the ice cubes in the blue cup.

McAllister recognized the unique diamond shaped cubes, and went to the UDF at the intersection of State Routes 131 and 132. McAllister requested their security video and sure enough, Chief Rose said, there were the four suspects, their truck and one guy holding that same blue insulated cup prior to committing the crime.

They just indicted this week: Aaron Lawson, Jeffrey Combs, and Erin Pappas, all of Goshen, and Joseph Snider of Milford, for breaking and entering, complicity to robbery, and complicity to disrupting public services.

  • Aaron P. Lawson, 39, of Goshen, was indicted for breaking and entering, robbery, and disrupting public services.
  • Joseph N. Snider, 37, of Milford, was indicted for breaking and entering, complicity to robbery, and complicity to disrupting public services.
  • Aaron P. Lawson, 39, of Goshen, was indicted for breaking and entering, robbery, and disrupting public services.
  • Joseph N. Snider, 37, of Milford, was indicted for breaking and entering, complicity to robbery, and complicity to disrupting public services.

Their arrests helped solve another case, according to Chief Rose -- Jeffrey Combs was already wanted in Loveland, accused of stealing a pressure washer earlier this month. Chief Rose credits McAllister with a connection, which also helped bring closure to this case as well.

Rose said he always encourages people to call 911 instead of confronting anyone.

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