News from around the country


Huge theft bust at Caesar Creek Flea Market        


Numerous people were served with grand jury indictments Saturday morning at Caesar Creek Flea Market in Wilmington for alleged involvement in a retail store theft and drug trafficking ring connected to arrests made Friday in Jeffersonville.

Around 9 a.m., deputies from the Fayette and Clinton County Sheriff’s Offices arrived at Caesar Creek Flea Market. The indictments were recently handed down by a Clinton County grand jury and the names will be released later, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.

“This is an investigation into the systematic theft of items from retail stores such as Kroger and CVS Pharmacy throughout the area,” said Stanforth. “People from Fayette County were involved. The stolen items were being sold from Caesar Creek at 100 percent profit. In all, this is a multi-million dollar loss to retail merchants across central Ohio. We believe this has a direct connection to the financing of of drug trafficking operations.”

Stanforth also said indictments served Friday in Jeffersonville are believed to have a direct connection to the Caesar Creek theft ring. Search warrants and indictments from a Fayette County grand jury were served at a Woodsview Drive apartment and West High Street residence in Jeffersonville.

A large amount of crack cocaine and heroin was recovered from the homes, as well as suspected stolen property. Five people were served with indictments in Jeffersonville for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

“This investigation has been going on for months,” said Stanforth. “The suspected stolen items that were being sold at the flea market include clothing, groceries, DVDs, electronics, household items.

According to Stanforth. “the Caesar Creek personnel have been very cooperative throughout,” he said. “This has nothing to do with many of the individual vendors at Caesar Creek.”

Loss prevention departments from Kroger and CVS are also at Caesar Creek, located along I-71 and State Route 73, Saturday in an attempt to identify the merchandise.


Flea Market Raid Nets Over 6,000 Counterfeit Items: Police

LAWRENCE, MA — Three New York men were arrested during a raid of a Lawrence flea market Saturday, an operation that yielded more than 6,000 counterfeit fashion and accessory items, police said.

Jinwu Wang, 41, Sheng-Fu Weng, 39, and Sheng-Chao Weng, 37, were charged with charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 1,000 items bearing a counterfeit mark. They were released on bail and will be arraigned in Lawrence District Court.

State, local, and federal authorities executed the search warrants at 85 Manchester St. If the items had been authentic, police said the retail value would have surpassed $1.5 million.


Man unknowingly buys 4,000-year-old pottery at flea market, uses it as toothbrush holder

​You never know what you'll find at a flea market … like a 4,000-year-old piece of pottery. That's what a guy in England discovered, though he didn't realize what he had until later, after he'd repurposed the jar as a toothbrush holder.

The pottery vessel, adorned with the painting of an antelope, caught the eye of Karl Martin while he was browsing a yard sale five years ago. He picked the jar up, along with another pot, for about $5 (4 pounds).

"I liked it straight away," Martin said in a statement from Hansons Auctioneers, where he now works and where the pottery was auctioned — selling for about $100 (80 pounds) in November.

The jar dates to the Indus Valley Harappan civilization, which thrived in the northwestern regions of South Asia during the Bronze Age, according to James Brenchley, head of antiquities at Hansons Auctioneers. The Indus, along with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, is one of the three cradles of civilizations in the Old World, he added.

​That backstory was unbeknownst to Martin, a collector, at the time of his purchase. So who could blame him for plopping the jar in the bathroom, right? "I used it in the bathroom to store my toothpaste and toothbrush — it even ended up getting a few toothpaste marks on it," he said.

Years later, while helping Brenchley unload a van at the auction house, Martin noticed some of the pottery going up for auction looked similar to his toothbrush holder. "The painting style looked the same, and it had similar crudely painted animal figures," he said in the statement.

Brenchley examined the pot and confirmed that it was a genuine artifact from Afghanistan dating to 1900 B.C.

"That means it's around 4,000 years old — made 2,000 years before Christ was born," Martin said. "It's amazing, really. How it ended up at a South Derbyshire car-boot sale, I'll never know."