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Two suspects allegedly caught breaking into a Brimfield construction trailer early Thursday morning while armed with a stolen handgun currently are cooling their heels in the Portage County jail, Brimfield police said.
Charged with one count each of robbery, both second-degree felonies, and receiving stolen property, both fourth-degree felonies, are Justin R. Bowersox, 36, of 2417 Tamarack Trail, Brimfield, and Nicholas W. Slusser, 35, of 790 Norton Drive, Tallmadge.
Arraigned Friday in Municipal Court, Slusser was ordered jailed on 10 percent of $75,000 bond, and Bowersox on 10 percent of $70,000 bond, according to court records.
The charges are robbery, instead of burglary or breaking and entering, because Bowersox and Slusser allegedly "did, in attempting to commit a theft offense or in fleeing immediately after the attempt or offense did: have a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance" in their possession, according to Ohio law cited in the criminal complaints against them.
That "deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance" allegedly was a 9mm Smith & Wesson MP Shield reported stolen in Wayne County by its rightful owner, according to Brimfield police.
The loaded gun was found by officers checking a construction site at Prescott Pike off of Sanctuary View Drive at approximately 2:30 a.m. Thursday. There, they allegedly also found Bowersox and Slusser inside a pickup truck.
An investigation determined the two men allegedly broke into a storage trailer on the site, stealing several tools and "miscellaneous pieces of equipment," police said.
Tallmadge police are assisting Brimfield police in the investigation after additional tools and equipment suspected to have been stolen were found at Slusser's home. The departments are working together to link the suspected stolen property to its rightful owners, Brimfield police said.
Additional charges are possible as the case progresses and once it is presented to a grand jury.