Warren City employee Dennis Griffing, 52, has been arrested for stealing Tribune Chronicle newspapers from drop boxes and allegedly passing them out at work.
Griffing works in Warren’s operations department and is the brother of city auditor David Griffing. According to a police report, Griffing was taking newspapers from coin boxes in front of the General Electric plant on Dana Street, the Save-A-Lot store on Park Avenue, Coffee Cup Cafe on East Market Street and the box in front of the Tribune on Franklin Street.
He was arrested Wednesday morning in the parking lot of Save-a-lot on Park Avenue after police observed him removing papers from the box. The report states the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department set up surveillance at the coffee shop on Tuesday, but Griffing never showed up there.
“He put the money in the machine, he took a large amount of papers. I made a traffic stop and placed him under arrest,” said Major Tom Stewart with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Department.
Griffing admitted to stealing 15 to 20 newspapers a day from several boxes around the city for over a year. But he is not alone in his paper napping caper, other Trumbull County residents said they see the same thing go on from time to time.
“I have seen people take handfuls of papers out of boxes. I don’t see the point to it,” said Howland resident Brenda Hayes.
City officials said it is too early to determine if Griffing will face disciplinary action. They are waiting for the police investigation to be completed, which could include more arrests.
“When you have a good one like that, why would you want to do something like that. You get caught, you could lose your job over it. It’s not worth it for 50 cents a paper,” said Niles resident Lou Lukz.