Investigation Prompted by Article Leads to Arrest in Thefts

A March 7 story in The Intelligencer prompted an investigation that lead to the arrest of Valerie Williams for stealing jewelry in Belmont County.

Williams, of Martins Ferry, appeared Tuesday before Circuit Judge James Mazzone. She waived her right to a home confinement revocation hearing in light of new charges she is facing in Belmont County for allegedly stealing approximately $20,000 worth of jewelry from a home in which she had been hired as a cleaning woman.

Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak said Williams was serving a home confinement sentence when she was arrested in Belmont in April on similar charges.

On March 7, Mazzone sentenced Ronald and Valerie Williams to jail in separate cases involving the theft of rings from a private residence. Ronald Williams, 35, of Wellsburg, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy during a morning hearing, and Valerie Williams admitted to violating house arrests rules in an afternoon session.

Valerie Williams admitted to stealing rings from a home in which she was cleaning and then giving the items to her husband at a different location.

On June 26, 2013, Williams pleaded guilty to theft charges for her part in the case. She admitted that while employed by a house cleaning service, she stole the rings so they could be sold to provide money to buy drugs.

During the March hearing, Mazzone revoked Williams’ house arrest and ordered that she serve 30 days in jail before returning to house arrest with several condition, including that she not get arrested again.

The Belmont County victim said Williams had been hired to clean her home through an agency and the owner of the agency called her to report seeing the story in The Intelligencer and suggest she take an inventory of her belongings.

The woman said she at first thought she had misplaced a bracelet, but learned the item was missing.

Court documents show Valerie Williams worked in the Belmont County home from November 2013 to January of this year, but resigned suddenly because her ailing mother needed care. Williams was at the end of the first year of house arrest and eligible for a parole hearing when Belmont County authorities arrested her Aug. 2. She now must serve 120 days in jail in connection with violating conditions of house arrests. At the end of that period, Belmont County authorities may take her into custody to answer to the new theft charges.