Witness aids police in copper arrests

A BELLAIRE man and a juvenile are behind bars today after they were apprehended Wednesday by Bellaire police officers for allegedly stealing copper out of the Union Street Station building, the site of a former restaurant which has been closed for years.

Christopher C. Mellott, 18, of 56949 Winding Hill Rd., is being held in the Belmont County Jail where he was booked on charges of receiving stolen property and burglary. He was also booked on a charge of resisting arrest since he reportedly became combative both on the scene and at the jail.

His bond was set at $4,250.

The juvenile, who is in the Sargus Center, faces charges of burglary and receiving stolen property.

Police said the thieves got in through a basement entrance, stole the copper pipes and then took off for Martins Ferry to cash in on it.

However, a witness was watching it take place, got into his car and followed the thieves. He called police on the way.

Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk said the witness did the right thing.

“He stayed at a distance, got the license number of the vehicle and a description of the individuals. One of the thieves went down through the basement and one was in the car, loading the copper into the car.

“Once again, it was one of the good people of Bellaire,” Kovalyk said. “That is how we solve crimes in this town – from the good people in this town who take a lot of pride here in the All-American town.”