BELLAIRE - Three people were arrested early Wednesday after they allegedly held people at gunpoint while burglarizing their home on West 23rd Street in Bellaire.
According to Bellaire Police Chief Michael P. Kovalyk, arrested were Daniel Burton, 37, 65160 School St., Neffs on charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated menacing, falsification, obstruction of justice and possession of drug abuse instruments; Ricky Joe McGuire, 21, 800 41st St., Bellaire, aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon and possession of drugs; and Shayron Greathouse, 19, 4278 Franklin St., Bellaire, aggravated burglary and receiving stolen property. All three were transported to the Belmont County Jail.
Also arrested was Rayne N. McGuire, 22, 800 41st St., Bellaire, who was charged with complicity and aiding in the commission of the crime and possession of drugs.
She was not transported to jail because she is 36 weeks pregnant, Kovalyk said.
Police had received the call at 2:08 a.m. of an armed burglar that had taken place at a residence on West. 23rd Street, Kovalyk said. The suspects reportedly made entry into the house through a window. Two of the alleged perpetrators were reportedly wearing masks and the other was wearing a blue bandana to cover his face. The victims were able to identify the suspects and got a vehicle description.
The occupants of the house were reportedly beaten with brass knuckles and held at gunpoint by the assailants as items were taken from the house.
Officer Rusty Cunningham located the suspects' vehicle outside the area of 800 41st St., Apartment 11. As the vehicle started to leave, officers stopped it and those inside were ordered out at gunpoint by police, Kovalyk said. Police said they found marijuana in the car.
Others responding and involved in the arrest were Patrolman Jim Hunt, canine "Markus" and units from Martins Ferry, Shadyside and Bridgeport.
Rayne McGuire reportedly gave police permission to search the apartment where items from the burglary were found, Kovalyk said, including a television and video game system. They also reportedly found marijuana in the apartment, along with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun and four rounds, as well as a BB gun. Both weapons are believed to have been used in the burglary. A "Spiderman" mask and a "devil" mask also were recovered at the apartment.
A cell phone was found on one of the suspects that is believed to belong to one of the victims, Kovalyk said.
Burton reportedly gave police a false name and become belligerent with officers at the station once his identity was discovered, the chief said.
"Of course, I have high praise for all the officers involved," Kovalyk said. "They exercised great restraint in another dangerous situation and we appreciate all of the assistance of our neighboring departments. We know that resources and manpower are an issue with all departments, but without each other's assistance, the danger to the officers and the innocent citizens would be a lot greater."
He also said this is the fifth situation since December 2009 where police had made arrests involving the use of a firearm.
"There is the increasing issue of the economy affecting the increase in crime in this area and all over this country," Kovalyk said. "I am deeply concerned for the safety of our community and its residence and their property."
Additional charges may be pending.