POLAND TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – Poland Township Police Chief Brian Goodin says the person of interest in six different home burglaries is getting smarter and braver.
Police say the robber will go into cars parked outside and grab the garage door opener for access to even more belongings.
“People are leaving the house doors open from the garage, and we’ve had a few where they’ve entered the house and taken some from inside, too,” Goodin said.
Rick Davanzo says he’s never seen something like this in his neighborhood before.
“I’m just glad he didn’t come in the house,” he said. “It could’ve been worse if somebody would’ve come in the house…You just don’t want that to happen.”
Davanzo has lived in his home on Brookstone Place for eight years. Tuesday night, someone broke into his son’s car and then his own.
He says he woke up around 5 a.m. to find his garage door open.
“They opened his door and went through his car, and then they got the Genie and went through my car in the garage,” Davanzo said. “The light was on in the inside of my car, and the console and everything was thrown all over the seats.”
All of the credits cards, driver’s licenses and valuables in the cars were stolen.
Davanzo’s family is just one among several hit by a recent string of robberies.
“It’s just unfortunate it happened and has been happening over here,” he said.
Each of the break-ins happened in housing developments located within 7 to 10 minutes of each other and at most, 15 minutes away from the police department.
Police released a still image from surveillance video that shows the person of interest wearing a dark jacket and hood.
While police think it’s the same perpetrator, they don’t want to jump to any conclusions until they have all the information.
“In the past, we have had a few different groups hitting at the same time, but all these do fit…that it could be the same person but we’re not sure yet,” Goodin said.
Until that person is caught, officers want to make sure homeowners are taking precautions against burglars.
Goodin says they should make sure all car doors are locked, and that the house is also locked at night and when no one is home.
“I know we live in Poland…you kind of think things don’t happen but you gotta understand that it can happen anywhere, and it’s best just to keep your stuff locked and not give them that opportunity,” Goodin said.
Davanzo says his family will definitely be more careful moving forward by making sure the cars are locked and security lights are on outside.
Other precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family include:
- Locking windows and garages
- Making sure home entrances are well-lit
- Installing heavy-duty locks and window security systems throughout your home
- Having a family meeting to work out home security plans in case an emergency should happen while someone is at home
Goodin says if homeowners are ever suspicious, they should call police. While they should never try to confront the burglar themselves, he says they should try to keep the burglar in sight.
“That’s usually how we get it. Somebody just…pays attention, sees it, calls us and we end up catching them.”
Poland police have been in contact with nearby businesses and neighborhoods that have security cameras, and are studying footage to see if there is any connection between suspicious cars or people.
They are offering a cash reward for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest.
Those with information on the person’s identity are asked to contact Sgt. Dan Aracich or Detective Greg Wilson at 330-757-8033 (ext. 122 or 123). Callers can remain anonymous.