Authorities in two counties are investigating more than two dozen car break-ins, but police believe they've nabbed three of the four culprits.
As Stark County Sheriff's deputies investigate nearly two dozen recent vehicle break-ins, Macedonia police have arrested three Canton men accused of stealing a loaded gun from a vehicle in Hartville.
Lt. Vince Yakopovich of the Macedonia Police Department said his officers were called about 4 a.m. Wednesday by a woman reporting that she was leaving for work when she found four people "digging through her car in her driveway."
"The motion light came on. They saw her and then they took off."
The woman provided police with a description of their vehicle, which officers found a short distance away, Yakopovich said.
Two 18-year-olds were in the car, and another 18-year-old and a 17-year-old were walking down the street. One of the young men in the car and the 17-year-old ran from the officers, Yakopovich said.
Police caught up to everyone but the youngest suspect.
But police know who he is.
Yakopovich said the 17-year-old was identified by his wallet, which he left in the car.
All of the young men, whose names have not been released, are being charged with theft, criminal trespassing and receiving stolen property. Only the youngest remained at large Wednesday afternoon.
Hartville Police Lt. Kevin Moore said Macedonia police recovered the gun that had been stolen in a break-in about 4 a.m. Monday on Edison Street.
Inspector William Jones with the Stark County Sheriff's Office said that in addition to that break-in, deputies are investigating more than 20 vehicle break-ins, as are North Canton and Marlboro Township police.
The break-ins occurred over the last two weeks and most involved unlocked vehicles, he said.
"It's picked up in the last couple of days," Jones said.
Thieves have been stealing "anything valuable," he said, including laptops, guns, money and electronics.
Hartville police recovered a laptop stolen Sunday night or Monday morning from one of three vehicle break-ins on Etter Road and Byers and Immel avenues NE, said Marlboro Township Police Chief Ron Devies.
"At this point in time, we believe that these are the same people and that all three cases have been solved with those arrests," Devies said.
The series of vehicle break-ins in Stark County also included North Canton, whose officers could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
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