On 10 Nov 17 Deputy Abbott and Deputy Allender were attempting to serve a warrant on Robert Earl O’Brien, age 35, 343 Main Street, Lower Salem, OH. Deputy Allender knocked at the front door and announced that he was with the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies heard moving around inside the home and entered the home through an open window in an attempt to apprehend O’Brien. Deputies observed a long rifle case behind the front door, as well as a spoon with what appeared to be a small piece of cotton on it and a syringe on a small coffee table. Deputies approached a closed bedroom door and could hear what sounded like someone going out a window. Deputy Abbott exited and ran to the rear of the home, observing Robert O’Brien Jr. running toward a wooded area. Deputy Abbott chased after O’Brien, giving him verbal commands to stop, which he ignored. As Deputy Abbott caught up to O’Brien, who had fallen down a small embankment, he ordered O’Brien to stand up. Deputy Allender arrived and placed O’Brien under arrest and in handcuffs. As Deputies were initially clearing the home they located a locked bathroom door, locked from the inside. Deputies returned to the home to check that room and discovered whoever was inside had fled. Deputy Abbott collected the two needles and the three spoons. O’Brien admitted to Deputies that he had been injecting methamphetamine and suboxone in recent days and advised the syringes and spoons belonged to him. O’Brien denied any knowledge of the firearm(s). Robert Earl O’Brien Jr. was placed under arrest on the warrant and was transported to Washington County Jail. After reviewing O’Brien’s background history a charge of weapons under disability was filed as well, a 3rd degree felony. O’Brien was also charged with possession of drug abuse instruments and obstructing official business, both 2nd degree misdemeanors.
Later this same date Deputy Abbott and Deputy Allender were dispatched to 330 Peaker Run Road, Salem Township, to property near the O’Brien residence. The caller stated they had witnessed Robert O’Brien and Steven O’Brien on the property around 0800 hrs. The caller advised the two men stated they were squirrel hunting, however he/she called the Sheriff’s Office because he/she had located a firearm on the property near where the men had been seen and wanted law enforcement to check on it.
Deputies began inspecting the firearm and discovered it was a toy modified to appear like a real handgun. The caller stated Steven was carrying a camouflage backpack and a soft firearm’s case and Robert was carrying a large black bag and a child’s backpack. The caller expressed concern that the O’Briens were snooping around the property looking for things to steal, noting that there were several items that appeared to have been moved.
Based on the information provided to Deputies, it was believed Steven O’Brien would have been the unknown subject who possibly fled from the bathroom upon their arrival at the residence earlier. Deputy Allender and Deputy Abbott returned to 343 Main Street and attempted to make contact with Steven O’Brien, who also had an active warrant for his arrest.
Deputies knocked at the door for an extended period of time, receiving no answer, however hearing voices inside. A female eventually came to the door and allowed Deputies to search the home. Deputies entered the home and Steven O’Brien immediately attempted to flee, however was apprehended. Deputies noticed a camouflage backpack in the living room, along with several items on a futon which had not been there earlier in the day. The female was asked about the backpack and she advised it belonged to Steven and was next to his chair. Steven was asked about the backpack and he stated it was his and gave us permission to search it. Steven was also asked about being in the woods that morning with him stating he and Robert were squirrel hunting and he was using the .22 rifle and Robert was using the 12 gauge.
Deputies searched the backpack and discovered a large quantity of items that appeared to have been stolen, including a Ruger .22 pistol, ammo, collector coins, cash, jewelry, credit cards and an employee identification card belonging to a Haas subject. Several of the coin containers had prescription pill bottle labels attached, also belonging to the Haas family. Additionally, inside of the backpack, was a hand written inventory sheet belonging to Robert. On the inventory sheet was an entry for an Ithaca model 37 12 gauge with the serial number. The serial number matched that of the shotgun seized when Robert O’Brien was arrested earlier in morning. On the futon Deputies located several pieces of Longaberger baking dishes and additional ammo. Contact was made with the Haas family and the residence they had resided in was checked. Deputies discovered an unsecured rear door and found the home ransacked. Also discovered was a firearms safe which had been pried open, with the pry bar still stuck in the safe door. Deputies collected all of the property from the O’Briens in order to have the property viewed by the victim, which was done and positively identified as belonging to the Haas family.
Robert Earl O’Brien Jr., age 35, 343 Main Street, Lower Salem, and Steven Lee O’Brien, age 28, 343 Main Street, Lower Salem, had gained access to the residence in Lower Salem, and were in the process of removing items from the residence and transporting them through the woods to their residence on Main Street when they were spotted.
Robert O’Brien Jr. is being charged with 3rd degree felony burglary, 4th degree felony theft from the elderly, 3rd degree felony theft of a firearm, 4th degree felony safecracking, and 4th degree felony receiving stolen property.
Steven L. O’Brien is being charged with 3rd degree felony burglary, 4th degree felony theft from the elderly, 3rd degree felony theft of a firearm, 4th degree felony safecracking, 4th degree felony receiving stolen property and 2nd degree misdemeanor obstructing official business.
Steven O’Brien was transported to the Washington County Jail for processing on these charges, as well as the active warrant.