GREENVILLE — A Union City man will spend the next two years in prison following a two-day jury trial that centered on a stolen washer and dryer and a coffee table.
David E. Steen, 55, was on trial in Darke County Common Pleas Court for one count burglary, a third-degree felony, and one count theft, a fifth-degree felony.
The washer and dryer and coffee table in question were only a few of the numerous items stolen from a home on State Line Road in Union City, Ohio, over several days in October 2018.
The first witness to the burglary and subsequent theft was Noah M. Pearcy, 21, son to the owner of the property, Michael Pearcy. As a college student, Noah would periodically check on the property for his father, who was traveling at the time. He had visited the home on or around Oct. 5, 2018, to find it in its usual state. However, upon return to the home on Oct. 11, 2018, Noah found the residence burglarized. A window on a side porch had been broken and used to gain entry.
Noah proceeded to contact Norah Wiley, a family friend who also checked on the property, and the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.
In video procured from security cameras outside the home, several individuals were found to have trespassed onto the property. Each time the individuals loaded items from the house into a truck or onto a trailer. The latter used to remove a washer and dryer from a bathroom in the Pearcy home.
During questioning, Michael Pearcy was asked to list items stolen from his home, as well as a barn and separate woodworking shop on the property.
“It’s impossible. I can list the big things; there are so many specialty tools, little things, personal items,” said Pearcy. Other items besides the washer and dryer and coffee table included military medals and uniforms. He also listed three cell phones, a telescope, electric guitar, and keepsakes from his sons’ mother, who had passed away, including her death certificate. “It’s a lot.”
A detective on the case, Rodney Baker, identified one of the individuals on the home security video as Anthony G. “Tony” Purdin, a resident of Union City, Ind.
Baker secured a search warrant for Purdin’s residence, and it was during the search that Baker noted a washer and dryer in Steen’s driveway.
Michael Pearcy identified the washer and dryer as those stolen from his home.
Upon questioning by Baker, Steen opened his garage with the detective noting a coffee table that matched one stolen from the Pearcy home. A coffee table that Steen at first claimed to be his before stating it may belong to an individual residing in his garage.
The jury was presented with a video taken before the burglary that shows the coffee table found in Steen’s garage. The jury also heard audio recorded via a cell phone belonging to Mykayla Purdin, wife to Anthony Purdin. In the audio, Steen is heard, and identified, as stating he was at the Pearcy home several times.
During testimony, Noah and Michael Pearcy, as well as, Wiley, stated no one was permitted to be on the property. No one beyond individuals mowing the lawn, and no one was permitted to take any items.
After several hours of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict on count one of burglary and not guilty on count two of theft.
Judge Jonathan P. Hein sentenced Steen to 24 months at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction with 94 days jail credit, and a mandatory three years post-release supervision.
Reach reporter Bethany J. Royer-DeLong at 937/548-3330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more news, features, and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.