July 25, 2016

Partly sunny

Woman used grandson as accomplice, police say

MEDINA — Police have arrested a 50-year-old Lafayette Township woman who investigators say used her 4-year-old grandson to break into Eli’s Kitchen in June.

Caron J. Simmons, of the 7400 block of Lake Road, was arrested Friday. She is charged with breaking and entering, a fifth-degree felony.

Simmons was being held at the Medina County Jail on Friday. Bond had not been set yet.

Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said a major factor in the arrest was the community response to a surveillance video showing an adult, wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, knocking on the back door of Eli’s Kitchen, 115 Public Square, about 2:15 a.m. June 15. After being let in, the person emerges about nine minutes later with a small child.

“We got a very good response off of our posted Facebook video,” Berarducci said. “Several people came forward to help ID the woman and the child.”

Police speculated that an adult used the youngster to gain entrance into the diner by breaking the glass on the front door and shoving the child through the broken glass.

The restaurant’s cash register was smashed but nothing was reported stolen from the diner.

Berarducci said additional charges are expected.

“I have directed our detectives to expand their investigation into the entire circumstances of this crime and potential charges of child endangerment against the grandmother and others,” Berarducci said.

“I will personally notify the director of Jobs and Family Services and ask for a full investigation of this family for the welfare of the child.”

Simmons has a criminal record. She was convicted of safecracking in 2005, a fourth-degree felony, and received probation.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.

Andrew Davis About Andrew Davis

Andrew Davis covered Medina city government for The Gazette from January 2014 to May 2015. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.