July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Suspect of dozen-plus burglaries in sheriff’s custody

LIVERPOOL TWP. — Medina County Sheriff’s deputies have a suspect in custody and are investigating others thought to be responsible for about a dozen burglaries in Liverpool Township since July.

Charles Anthony Miller, 55, of 6060 Boston Road, Liverpool Township, was arrested Monday at his home. He was charged with credit card theft, but officials said other charges are expected to be filed.

Charles Miller

Reports show 13 burglaries have occurred since July 14, including nine in September. Police suspect the burglaries are related to another break-in that occurred in April.

In addition to $6,000 worth of jewelry, cash and savings bonds and six handguns, the thieves also took birth certificates and Social Security cards for an entire family and an air compressor and a tractor with attached equipment and construction ladders.

Four of the burglaries occurred on the 5000 and 6000 blocks of Boston Road. The others were reported on Abbeyville, Spieth, Metzger, Myrtle Hill, Lester, West River, Neff, Crocker and Erhart Northern roads.

This is the second wave of burglaries to hit the township in the past year.

Kyle E. Roberts, 22, of Parma, pleaded no contest this summer to a string of New Year’s Day burglaries of homes near Columbia and Neff roads.

Roberts was sentenced July 23 to two years in prison on eight felony charges. Police said he stole a .22- and a .44-caliber pistol, a 2004 GMC Envoy, a 1996 Ford pickup and more than $1,000 in music equipment.

The new wave of burglaries prompted a community meeting Monday at Buckeye High School.

Sheriff’s Capt. Kenneth Baca provided the audience of about 250 residents with advice on protecting their homes.

Baca said he discussed security strategies such as keeping less money in the house, securing valuable items and simply locking up.

He said many crimes occur when residents leave the house for only a brief errand and forget to lock up or think they don’t need to.

Baca said this summer’s burglaries have been linked to break-ins in Lorain County.

Lorain County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Josh Croston said Columbia and Eaton townships have had four burglaries this week alone.

“We’re working with Medina County and trying to develop some leads,” Croston said. “But it’s not limited to Columbia, Eaton and Grafton. We’re having burglaries everywhere.”

Croston said deputies are investigating where the stolen items may have been fenced.

Medina sheriff’s Lt. Travis Colonius said Miller has been interrogated and “divulged some information that’s been useful, but we suspect there’s probably more that he has not told us yet.”

Miller is well known to police.

He served a year in prison after being convicted in 2007 of 11 counts of felony breaking-and-entering. He also served a concurrent one-year sentence for felony auto theft, felony theft and felony breaking-and-entering.

In 2006, he was sentenced to a year in prison after being convicted of possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm under disability and felony theft.

Medina sheriff’s Capt. David Centner said the county is especially vulnerable to burglaries because of its proximity to Lorain, Cleveland and Akron.

“These people will come from anywhere and everywhere to victimize people if we give them the opportunity,” he said. “This is a partnership we need to have with the community. There’s a difference between us solving crimes and us being able to prevent them. They have to help us.”

Colonius said being a good neighbor is important.

“What is it that Homeland Security says? ‘If you see something, say something?’ That’s pretty much it,” said Colonius.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.