By Jeff Gallatin
North Olmsted police believe with two recent arrests they have cleared more than a half-dozen thefts and break-ins of metal and related items valued at more than $15,000.
In one arrest, Anthony Jana, 31, of David Drive in North Olmsted, made his initial appearance Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on charges of breaking and entering and theft. Police said those charges stem from the theft of copper from the generator at the Discount Drug Mart earlier this year. Police officials said they are investigating his possible involvement in several other cases involving the theft of metals from structures to sell the materials for scrap.
In the other arrest, David Dunn, 42, of Cleveland, is facing multiple charges of breaking and entering at city businesses last week. Dunn was arrested Thursday when patrolwoman Angel Kazy spotted a vehicle matching a description of a vehicle believed to have been involved in several break-ins earlier. She and Patrolman Michael Gasdick then saw a suspect, also matching the description of a person believed to have been involved in the earlier incidents. The officers arrested Dunn and found items believed to have been taken from an auto break-in on Virginia Drive, which investigating officer, Patrolman Steve Dombek, identified as being taken in that incident.
Meanwhile, Patrolman Manny Roman, the investigating officer on a break-in at the Great Escape, located a witness who saw the incident at that business, and was able to identify a person and the vehicle in that theft.
North Olmsted police Capt. Mike Kilbane said the two incidents show cooperation between patrol officers and the detective bureau.
“Both cases show information sharing between patrol officers and detectives,” Kilbane said. “In the copper theft, it took several weeks, but then officers developed information which Detective Dan Barrett followed up on and put everything together to lead to an arrest.
“In the other break-ins, that case is a great example of rapid information sharing among the officers as well as some great in-depth investigation by our patrol officers. Break-ins are difficult to solve, and these officers did an outstanding job of developing leads and communicating information to each other.”
In addition to the aforementioned patrol officers, Kilbane cited Patrolmen Matt Beck and Eric Morgan for getting a vehicle and suspect description in the Thursday incidents.
“They distributed this information to the rest of the department immediately via a shift briefing notice containing a photo from a security video,” Kilbane said.
Kilbane also lauded Barrett for his doggedness in following up the leads given to him.
“He’s been busy checking scrapyards and other possible locations while following a lot of leads in these cases,” Kilbane said. “The amount of materials taken has gotten into thousands of dollars.”
Barrett said items taken ranged from snow shovels, automotive items, and metal furniture to the copper and other metals in the different incidents.
“At least some it was being taken to the scrap yards with the intent of selling it for cash,” Barrett said.
He said the investigation is continuing into whether other people are involved in the theft of copper and other metals from different buildings.