BRUNSWICK — Two county residents are suspected of breaking into a church that was undergoing construction, vandalizing it and stealing wiring.
Robert Walters, 30, of 391 Abbeyville Road, Medina, and Heather Menear, 27, of 4104 Arlington Drive, Brunswick, are charged with breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony.
Both were in the Medina County Jail on Friday, with bond set at $25,000 for Walters and $15,000 for Menear.
Brunswick Detective Brian Schmitt said Walters also is suspected of stealing baby formula Oct. 19 from Drug Mart on Pearl Road and has been charged with theft, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Schmitt said someone identified Walters as the thief after a photograph ran in The Gazette indicating police were looking for information regarding the theft.
Schmitt said a Brunswick police officer pulled over Walters’ vehicle around 3 a.m. Thursday after discovering he had a warrant pending through Strongsville for theft of baby formula from Rite Aid.
Menear also was in the vehicle and she and Walters allegedly were in possession of copper wiring, apparently from the construction site at Grace Baptist Church on Laurel Road, Schmitt said.
“There was actually labels on the wiring” that directed police to the electrical contractor and the church, the detective said.
When officers arrived at the church, Schmitt said, they found a hole in the drywall to a room where the construction supplies were kept, including copper wiring worth more than $1,000.
“They had to damage the walls to get to the wire,” he said.
Shoe and tire prints from the suspects matched prints found at the scene. Walters’ wallet also was recovered at the scene, Schmitt said.
The inside of the church was spray-painted with profane comments, and orange spray-paint residue reportedly was found on Menear’s hands, the detective said.
He said a drug-sniffing dog also led police to several hypodermic needles in the vehicle.
According to a police report, Menear told the arresting officer she had needles in her underwear and wanted them to know before she was searched so no one would get hurt.
Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.