Thieves strike stables in Portage County


SALEM, Ohio – Ron Moss of Rootstown, Ohio, worried when he heard rumors of thieves stealing saddles out of area stables. Within days of hearing the talk, his own stable was hit.

This burglary, and at least one other similar case, have Portage County stable owners worried.

Not quite caught. Moss said whoever stole his saddles parked down the road the night of Feb. 21, crept to the barn in the shade of a tree line and took four saddles out the stable’s back door.

After seeing an unfamiliar car sitting on the road, a neighbor slowed to take a better look, Moss said.

According to police reports, the neighbor saw two males loading objects into their vehicle. When the subjects saw the neighbor watching them, they reportedly dropped two of the Western saddles in a ditch and left with the other two, Moss said.

Moss estimates it will cost $600 to replace them.

According to the county sheriff’s office, the investigation is ongoing. The office could not confirm the number of reported saddle burglaries.

Another incident. According to police reports, three saddles were stolen from Mike Hood’s stable in Randolph, Ohio, several days earlier.

The saddles’ values ranged from $315 to $825.

Hood did not return phone calls for a comment.

Extra precautions. Penny Blue of Armstrong Saddlery in Salem, Ohio, said customers are talking about the stolen saddles and she’s urging them to take extra precautions.

Write your name and phone number on the saddle with permanent marker, she recommended.

Blue said when someone tries to trade a saddle at her shop and the name on the saddle doesn’t match the seller, it’s an immediate clue something is wrong.

Thinking twice. Since the burglary, Moss has secured his stable doors more heavily, but admits some people can’t be stopped.

Moss, who boards 23 horses, hasn’t had a problem in the 27 years he’s been there.

“But now I will think twice when I walk into my barn at night,” he said. “I’ll wonder if anyone else is in there.”

If you have any information, call Portage County’s detective bureau at 330-297-3890 or the sheriff’s office at 330-296-5100.

Get our Top Stories in Your Inbox

Next step: Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.