Six people police describe as members of a Gypsy organized crime family were granted an early release from prison yesterday after serving six months of an 11-month sentence.
The six were released by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ronald Bowman, who said they behaved well in prison and paid more than $12,000 restitution to their victims.
Four of the six may be held by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service under charges they are in the country illegally.
The surname for most of the defendants is Petrov. They are: Aranka, 31; Hiri, 38; Sali, 43, and Borzok, 34.
Rosa Jusino, 35 and Miguel Jusino, 31, also were convicted. The INS did not ask that the Jusinos be detained.
Police said the group specializes in distracting clerks and customers in convenience stores while some members go behind the counter and steal cash undetected.
The group members were sentenced on May 31 for two counts of attempted burglary, two counts of theft, and safecracking.
Yesterday, Judge Bowman placed all of the group members on community control for five years. He said they could transfer their cases to the Cook County probation office in Chicago, where they are from.
The cases for which the group was sentenced arose from several thefts in October, 1997.