Three men are facing felony charges in Champaign County after an attempted theft led to a multi-state search for one of the suspects.
A Champaign County grand jury indicted David Grim 33, and Virgil Breneman, 35, both of Urbana, and Roger Moore, 31, of Louisville, Ky., on charges of burglary, attempted petty theft, vandalism and possessing criminal tools this week for an attempted break-in at Michael Geus’ home, 5003 Dog Leg Road. The incident happened during the Ohio State National Championship football game, according to Champaign County Sheriff’s Deputy Captain David Rapp.
Geus found the men trying to remove items from his home when returned from watching the game in the morning hours of Jan. 13, according to Rapp.
Geus blocked the men in with his truck and all three ran, Rapp said.
John Allen, of the 4619 Dog Leg Road, said Breneman came to his door the next day shortly after he went to a doctor’s appointment. Breneman asked his wife to borrow their phone.
Allen’s wife called 9-1-1 and sheriff’s deputies found Breneman inside a nearby home that was empty and for sale.
“You don’t think about that stuff living out in the country,” Allen said. “That’s why you buy property out in the county. You don’t expect crime to come knocking on your door. If my dog wouldn’t have been here, who knows what he would have done with my wife or my house.”
Rapp said Breneman admitted to the crimes and gave up the other two suspects.
A fourth suspect, Russ Hooten, is believed to be part of the break-in, but committed suicide at the Tri-County Regional Jail Jan. 21.
Deputies believe Grim walked to Urbana after Geus discovered the group, and was arrested Jan 14.
Moore is accused of breaking into two other nearby farms and stealing a four-wheeler to escape after the attempted theft.
Officers arrested Moore in Louisville, Ky., Jan 17 and sheriff’s deputies are still waiting for him to be returned to Champaign County.
The grand jury indicted Moore on two additional breaking and entering charges as well as grand theft of a motor vehicle.
Allen hopes these arrests deter other potential criminals from trying to rob his neighbors.
“There’s work out there. There are other ways to make money besides taking someone’s hard-earned items,” Allen said. “It could cost them their life, especially out here where we live.”
Rapp said the three men could be connected to other thefts in the area, and any additional victims should call 937-484-6091.
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