Thief targets items in cars parked at Mahoning County soccer fields

POLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – Watching your kids play soccer on a weekend afternoon, you wouldn’t expect to be in the front line of a theft ring. But that’s the situation several parents around Mahoning County found themselves in when they got back to their cars on Sunday.

Police now have photos of the woman they suspect is behind the robberies and are asking for help to identify her.

After watching their kids’ soccer games, seven Poland parents and two Austintown parents found their car windows smashed and purses, checks, and credit cards stolen.

“We got a report the next day that some of the checks that were stolen out of there were cashed somewhere down toward Wooster,” said Poland Township Police Chief Brian Goodin.

Photos from the Austintown Junior Soccer Field’s surveillance camera show a silver Cadillac driving around the parking lot. Austintown police say the license plate on the car was stolen from another vehicle in town.

The same Cadillac was then seen driven by a woman, who was attempting to cash one of the checks reported stolen.

“The next day, something was stolen in the Akron area and then they came back to this area in Boardman, trying to cash checks from there,” Goodin said.

Police say they have the same woman on camera in Boardman and Canfield, trying to cash checks.

They said it’s too early to connect the crime with what was stolen in Akron but that it’s possible she’s working with a group of thieves that are very organized and possibly dangerous.

“Being that this was daylight, especially 3:00 in the afternoon, I’m assuming they were walking through the parking lot so if they saw a purse in the car, that’s going to give them the motivation to smash the window out to get it,” Goodin said.

Police want to remind you to always take your valuables with you when leaving your car.

They say the woman and her associates should be considered armed and dangerous. You should not approach them.

If you see the woman or have any information about the thefts call Poland Township Police at 330-757-0733 or Austintown Police at 330-270-5100.