An Ohio man is wanted for questioning after a string of break-ins in the state, according to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are asking the public to help find him, and he shouldn’t be hard to spot: The suspect, Anthony Ward, is a convicted felon sometimes known as “Popeye” — and he has distinctive tattoos sprawling across his face, neck and scalp, photos show.
There are felony warrants for Ward’s arrest in Brown County, where he faces charges of breaking and entering, receiving stolen property and theft, WKRC reports. Anyone who has tips on Ward’s location is encouraged to reach out to Adams or Brown County authorities. Both counties are in southern Ohio along the Kentucky border. Deputies said they suspect he is driving a black Chevy Cruz.
It’s far from Ward’s first run-in with law enforcement, and a defense attorney has previously argued that he gets undue suspicion because of his looks. Just a year ago, Ward — then 44 — was accused of child enticement after an 11-year-old girl said he tried to coax her out of her home, WCPO reports.
But at trial, Ward was acquitted, according to the TV station. It only took the jury 30 minutes to reach the verdict.
Ward had been going door to door in Springboro just ahead of Christmas offering to plow people’s driveways. At one home, though, an 11-year-old answered the door when he knocked — and she was terrified, WLWT reports.
“He asked if any of us wanted to drive with him in his truck,” the girl testified at trial, according to the TV station. “I was very scared. I thought I would never see my family again.”
Ward’s defense attorney called the girl’s story nonsense, and suggested Ward was accused of the crime in part because of his physical appearance, according to WLWT.
“It’s hard to find a job ... I was trying to make extra money,” Ward said in court at the time, according to the Journal-News.
Ward testified in court that he knocked on the door, and that the girl slammed the door before he could even make his pitch, WLWT reports.
“Springboro went into a hysteria, the evidence will show,” Tom Diehl, his defense lawyer, said in court. “The police were in hysteria. The mom was in hysteria because there was a guy that looks like that walking around their neighborhood trying to make a living.”
Ward said at the time that he was hoping to save money to have the tattoos removed. He got them when he was in prison, following his son’s suicide, WLWT reports.