LODI — Police said a 34-year-old man has been charged in connection with a string of car thefts and they’re thanking Cleveland cops for helping make the arrest.
Michael Siegfried, of 102 Birch St., Lodi, was pulled over Monday afternoon in Cleveland for a routine traffic stop. But a check of the vehicle found it had been reported stolen.
The vehicle, a 1998 Toyota Tacoma pickup, was the fifth vehicle stolen in Lodi in the past month, and the second taken from Bailey’s Auto Repair.
A 2005 Chevy S10 pickup — the third vehicle taken — was stolen Nov. 14 from Bailey’s, 605 Medina St.
Police found that truck Monday in a parking lot on Oak Court in Lodi.
Lodi Police Chief Keith Keough said Siegfried was stopped for speeding about two hours after the report of the Toyota was filed. Cleveland police charged him with receiving stolen property.
Keough said Siegfried had been arrested Nov. 21 in Lodi on a charge of heroin possession and was out on bail, but he was not a suspect in the car thefts.
“It didn’t really surprise me when they told me it was him, but we didn’t have him as a suspect until Cleveland arrested him,” Keough said.
Keough said a Cleveland prosecutor told him the city will drop its charges and release Siegfried to Lodi.
Lodi police are charging him with one count of grand theft auto for the Toyota he was caught in and are working to connect him to the other four.
Siegfried was booked into the Cleveland City jail to await arraignment this morning, Keough said, and he is expected to be extradited to Medina County after charges in Cleveland officially are dropped Friday.
The first vehicle stolen — a Chevy Cobalt — also was found in Cleveland and returned by police to its owner. That vehicle was taken Nov. 11 and a 2013 Subaru Legacy was stolen Nov. 13.
Both those vehicles were stolen from the Circle K service station, 441 Medina St. The Subaru was found in the parking lot of Moxies Bar and Grill, 700 Medina St.
The fourth vehicle taken was a 1996 Dodge Caravan, stolen from 590 Julia Way between 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1 and the morning of Dec. 2.
That vehicle has not been found.
In all but one of the thefts, Keough said the owners either left the vehicle running or left the keys in the ignition.
Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.