Bond was set in court Wednesday for three family members from Mt. Sterling who were arrested New Year’s Eve for allegedly committing a multitude of thefts and vehicle break-ins across Fayette County.
Donald E. Johnson, 42, Andrew A. Johnson, 23, and Chelsea D. Johnson, 22, were apprehended Sunday, Dec. 31, at the Baymont Inn, 11431 Allen Road, Jeffersonville. The three suspects have been held in the Fayette County Jail since their arrests on charges that include breaking and entering, theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, and criminal damaging.
They each appeared in the Washington Court House Municipal Court Wednesday. Bond was set at $10,000 for Andrew Johnson and Chelsea Johnson, and $5,000 for Donald Johnson. Court-appointed public defenders were assigned to the cases during Wednesday’s hearing.
Incident reports filed in connection with the cases show patrolmen Matthew Pfeiffer, Justin Everhart, and Edwin Stapleton of the Washington Court House Police Department investigated a string of break-ins and thefts reported around Fayette County Dec. 29-31.
Three incidents provided officers with surveillance video of the alleged crimes. Authorities used the surveillance video to help identify Donald, Andrew, and Chelsea Johnson as suspects, with the three reportedly located in room 226 at the Baymont Inn at 9:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve.
Court records show charges were filed Tuesday, Jan. 2 on Donald for receiving stolen property, forgery, criminal damaging, and breaking and entering; Andrew, for breaking and entering, theft, and receiving stolen property; and Chelsea for receiving stolen property.
All of the break-ins and thefts reportedly connected to the crime spree involved the suspects targeting personal vehicles parked at a factory, a residence driveway, an apartment complex, a restaurant and a church.
Three days prior to committing the alleged offenses across Fayette County, court records show all three had just been released from jail on bond after they were charged with theft, forgery, and receiving stolen property Dec. 26.
Dec. 29 — A 34-year-old New Holland woman reported to the WPD a theft from her vehicle. The report states the victim, an employee of an apartment building complex, went to check on a busted water line in a residence at approximately 10 a.m. According to the victim, she left her vehicle running and while she was inside the residence checking on the water line, someone entered her vehicle and removed her wallet. The wallet reportedly contained her children’s social security cards, bank and credit cards, and $63 in cash.
A bank card was allegedly used at United Dairy Farmers on Columbus Avenue to make a $30 purchase. According to the report, Andrew Johnson used the card at UDF and the cashier recognized him. The cashier told police that she asked Johnson if she could check his identification because the card he was trying to pay with was issued to a different name. Johnson allegedly refused to give his identification card and the store manager told the cashier to run the card anyway. Police obtained video footage from UDF Jan. 2 that allegedly showed Andrew Johnson presenting the cashier with the stolen card to pay for cigarettes.
When the victim called the bank and credit card companies to report and cancel the stolen cards, she was informed that her account information had been updated and changed. According to the report, the updated cardholder address and phone number was information matching that of the Johnson family. Reports said WPD recovered the stolen cards during the arrests made New Year’s Eve and returned the property to the victim.
Dec. 29 — A 29-year-old Washington Court House man reported to the WPD that someone removed a $300 laptop, his personal tax paperwork with the names, birth dates and social security numbers of his family members, and a checkbook from inside his vehicle while it was parked at the Rusty Keg between 7:15 and 8:15 p.m. Police reports state Donald Johnson took one of the checks to the man’s bank, wrote it to himself for $900, and signed the check. The victim’s bank called him to verify the check, at which time the victim told the bank the check was forged and not to cash it. Reports state the video surveillance from the Rusty Keg parking lot showed a man walking from the Blue Stone Inn to the parking lot of the Rusty Keg and checking door handles on several vehicles. The man removed items from the victim’s vehicle, checked a few more car doors, and returned to the inn. Reports said Chelsea Johnson was known to have been staying at the inn during the time of the incident. The victim’s property was later recovered by police when the family was arrested New Year’s Eve, reports said.
Dec. 30 — A 17-year-old woman from Mt. Sterling reported to the WPD that several items, including a toolbox, FM transmitter, varsity jacket, wallet and phone charger were stolen from inside her car parked overnight at Grace Community Church. On Dec. 31, the victim’s father reported to police that he had posted information about the missing toolbox on Facebook and learned that Andrew Johnson was allegedly attempting to sell the toolbox for $100. On Jan. 1, the victim went to the police department and her wallet was returned.
Dec. 30 — A 27-year-old Washington Court House woman reported to the WPD that unknown persons had removed her wallet and personal items from her vehicle on Jenny Lane. Three social security cards and $115 cash reportedly came up missing, along with a house key and several credit cards. One card was allegedly used at Walmart in an attempt to make a purchase of $97, but was declined. Police reports state video was reviewed and suspects identified as Donald and Chelsea Johnson were seen attempting to make a purchase for pre-paid cell phones. Some items belonging to the victim were recovered by police when the Johnson family members were arrested New Year’s Eve, but the card used at Walmart and the three social security cards were not recovered, reports said.
Dec. 31 — A 24-year-old Leesburg woman reported to the WPD that while she was working at Sugar Creek Packing, an unknown person busted out the window in her vehicle and removed her purse. Reports said $75 in cash, a driver’s license, a bank card, credit cards, a gift card, a prescription and a silver necklace were removed from the vehicle. Police obtained video surveillance from the factory that allegedly shows a male subject entering the parking lot from Kenskill Road at 9:13 a.m., committing the offense and departing toward Old Chillicothe Road.
Dec. 31 — The WPD tracked down the Johnson family at the Baymont Inn in Jeffersonville. Donald, Andrew, and Chelsea were arrested on felony warrants, reports said, and allegedly several stolen credit cards and items were located in the same room as the Johnsons.
Contact Ashley by telephone at (740) 313-0355 or connect on Twitter by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton and sending amessage.