July 24, 2016

Partly cloudy

Medina police nab suspect in car break-ins

MEDINA — Police captured a man suspected of breaking into numerous vehicles on the city’s west side after a foot pursuit Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities arrested Gary Leaster, 26, address unknown, on a felony theft charge at 3:45 p.m. after pursuing him from Liberty Plaza Apart­ments into a wooded area.



Lt. Bob Starcher said employees at BVIP Limou­sines, 887 W. Liberty St., saw a dark-colored Buick leave the business earlier that day and discovered someone had stolen speakers, TV screens, car stereos and champagne glasses from several vehicles.

On Tuesday afternoon, BVIP employees reportedly saw the same Buick traveling west on West Liberty, followed it to Liberty Plaza Apartments on Abbeyville Road and con­tacted authorities, police said. When police arrived at one of the apartments, Leaster fled north across West Liberty Street. Detectives Edward Kinney and Patrick Sloan caught him in a wooded area and arrested him, police said.

“It was a great example of citizens, patrol officers, detec­tives and dispatchers working together,” Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said in a state­ment. “This suspect was a one-man crime spree and a very real threat to the safety of our residents.”

After searching the apart­ment and Buick, authorities recovered stolen goods from other thefts in the area, according to police.

Starcher said Leaster might be involved in the rash of break-ins on the city’s west side in recent weeks in the West Grove Court and Abbeyville Road area.

Police said Leaster has mul­tiple felony warrants out from surrounding law enforcement agencies.

Leaster was being held Wednesday on $100,000 bond in the Medina County Jail, a jail spokesman said.

Contact Kaitlin Bushinski at (330) 721-4050 or kbushinski@medina-gazette.com.