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Published: Tuesday, 7/18/2006

Plea bargains help resolve burglary ring

Donald
Matney Donald Matney
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The mother and father of a family that police said was part of the area's largest burglary and safe-cracking ring entered into plea agreements yesterday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Donald Matney, 43, and Shelley Matney, 44, both of 1239 Prouty Ave., pleaded to an assortment of reduced felony and misdemeanor offenses for their roles in the highly publicized burglary and safe-cracking operation.

Police said the Matneys and their sons, Daniel, 21, and Dustin, 17, were among those responsible for as many as 36 break-ins at businesses from 2001 through last year in which thieves took money, drugs, and safes.

All but three of the 18 people indicted in February in connection with the crime spree have entered into plea agreements.

Donald Matney entered an Alford plea to one count each of felony safe-cracking and theft of drugs and no-contest pleas to one count of aggravated menacing and three counts of attempted breaking and entering.

His wife pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges of attempted breaking and entering and one count each of misdemeanor theft of drugs and attempted forgery.

Judge Gary Cook accepted the pleas and scheduled sentencing for Aug. 16.

The pleas were entered for the Matneys' roles in the burglaries at:

w●Red Wells, 1740 West Sylvania Ave.

w●Glenbyrne Pharmacy and X-Ray Associates, 1544 South Byrne Rd.

w●Joe's Crab Shack, 1435 Baronial Plaza Drive.

w●Ace Appliance, 3724 Airport Hwy.

Rob Miller, an assistant county prosecutor, said that while other defendants were inside the businesses, the Matneys were outside in vehicles monitoring police scanners to alert the intruders if police were nearby.

The Matneys' son, Daniel, also of the Prouty address, pleaded no contest May 22 to one count each of theft of drugs, grand theft, and safe-cracking and three counts of breaking and entering. He is to be sentenced Wednesday.

Mr. Miller said the plea agreements were reached, in part, because of evidentiary concerns had the cases gone to trial.



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