Burglars strike several homes

Up to 17 crimes investigated by area law enforcement agencies.
Courtney Astolfi
Aug 28, 2013
A string of home burglaries in eastern Erie County, Vermilion and western Lorain County have area deputies and police collaborating to track down suspects.
 
In recent weeks, Erie County deputies handled up to eight burglaries, while Vermilion police have tackled at least nine. “I know Lorain County has had several, too,” Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth said.

Vermilion police have identified a common pattern in their cases.

“They’ve all been daytime burglaries,” Vermilion police Detective Steve Davis said. “The suspect will knock or ring doorbells and, if someone’s home, they’ll just say they’re looking for a lost dog.”

If no one answers, however, the burglar deducts that know no one is home and they’re free to enter the property.

“We’ve had several screens cut and we’ve had some doors forced open,” Davis said. “And some people have left their doors unlocked.”

Once inside, the thief — or thieves — has primarily targeted cash and jewelry, but guns and credit cards have come up missing as well.    As of Friday, “we don’t know of anything that ties all of them together,” Erie County Sheriff’s Detective Nick Kotsopoulos said.

“Sometimes there are different groups out and about,” Kotsopoulos said. “I don’t know why or how they’re doing things around the same time. Sometimes they’re related, sometimes they’re not.”

Lorain County deputies arrested a man and woman Thursday who were allegedly involved in at least one burglary east of Vermilion. “That’s somebody we’ll definitely look at,” Davis said. Vermilion police are eyeing at least one other suspect in their investigation.

“And we have some other suspects who are tied into (an Erie County) burglary a couple weeks ago,” Sigsworth said. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of one man who was identified after he allegedly used a stolen credit card at a New Haven store, Sigsworth said.

Police and deputies offered the same advice to potential burglary victims, and their neighbors.

“People can tell when something’s not right — we need them to make phone calls,” Sigsworth said. “If it appears innocent or not, let us check on them.”