Man gets 15 years for burglaries, blames heroin addiction

Robert Goad, 52, of Columbiana County was sentenced to 15 years in jail in connection with a string of burglaries

Investigators say Ralph Goad is linked to more than a dozen burglaries of local homes and businesses.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Columbiana County man who has a long history of break-ins and burglary-related convictions was sentenced Wednesday.

He blames his heroin addiction.

Robert Goad, 52, was sentenced to 15 years in jail in connection with a string of burglaries this past spring. He was convicted in January following the break-in of ‘Sam’s Wedge Inn,’ in Austintown and was linked to 15 other burglaries or break-ins in the area.

Following his sentencing, Goad admitted to the court that he has been a heroin addict for 35 years. He said every time he’s released from prison, he relapses and returns to crime to feed his habit.

“I’m offering you a sincere heartfelt apology — and know that you deserve way more,” Goad said. “But at this time, this is all I can give.”

Goad was previously convicted at least 14 times on similar offenses — stealing from homes and businesses to feed his addiction.

Victim Debra Placer said she was asked to attend Goad’s sentencing.

“The only thing that keeps running through my mind, your Honor, is that when that man was in our home, uninvited, he had stolen an antique pistol,” she said. “If either one of us had come home just a few minutes too soon, this could be a whole different type of case. I don’t know what this man would have done.”

Another victim, Michael Sulenski, said, “We were violated in our house — our safe place. Now we’re scared to enter our house.”

The victims in this case chose to speak directly to Goad before he was taken back to jail.

“Some of the jewlrey taken from our bedroom was my father in-law who passed away,” Sulenski said. “It was very sentimental. And then money was taken — it was set aside to be a tribute to my mother-in-law who passed away. We were going to do some good. We don’t know what to do now.”


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