Arrest made in theft of John Deer Gator from PRP

By Tom Corrigan -



The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday arrested a Lucasville man in connection with the theft of a John Deere Gator and other items from Portsmouth Raceway Park on Thursday.

Sheriff Marty V. Donini stated he hopes to file more charges against numerous suspects in connection with the incident at a later date.

According to the sheriff’s office, late last week an employee of Portsmouth Raceway Park called 911 to report someone broke into the track and concession stand, stealing food items and the track’s gator.

Sheriff’s Capt. John W. Murphy said a deputy responded, filed a report and forwarded the incident to a sheriff’s detective for further investigation. Murphy added on Friday the sheriff’s office received a phone call from the owner of property at 6661 Big Bear Creek Rd. The caller stated he received a call from a neighbor saying they saw lights at his property and felt someone might be breaking in.

A deputy went to the location, searched the property and buildings but was unable to locate anyone on the property, according to Murphy. Upon further search of the property, the caretaker pointed out a John Deer Gator. Deputies located a partial VIN and determined the gator was the vehicle stolen from Portsmouth Raceway Park. The unique top portion of the gator was missing.

On Saturday, sheriff’s detectives received information on a possible suspect. A deputy found that person at his home and detained him for questioning without incident, Murphy said.

He added after the suspect spoke with detectives, officials recovered the top of the stolen John Deer allegedly from a grassy area behind the suspect’s house, 40 Mercer Cox Rd., Lucasville.

“The quick recovery and arrest were the direct result of the deputies, detectives and the community who assisted in this investigation,” Murphy said.

Murphy identified the suspect arrested as Aaron Blanton, 36, of Lucasville. Officials charged Blanton with felony counts of breaking and entering, grand theft and possession of criminal tools. Blanton appeared in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Monday and was held on a $15,000 bond.

Donini encouraged anyone with information about this incident to contact Detective Jodi Conkel at (740) 351-1091.


By Tom Corrigan

Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.