POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Police are offering a reward for information that will help them catch, and convict, a suspect who has been breaking into cars in several local communities.
Authorities have released surveillance photos of a man walking into, and out of, the Poland branch of the U.S. Postal Service one early one morning four years ago. Police said their suspect went there to buy stamps from a machine using a credit card stolen in a car break-in a short time before the photos were taken.
Besides this branch, authorities believe this same suspect has used stolen credit cards to buy stamps at other post offices in the Valley, as well as in Hermitage and as far away as Cleveland. Police said they are offering a reward that leads to the arrest and conviction of this suspect, whose DNA has not shown up anywhere else, other than these burglary scenes.
Investigators are linking this MO to four other burglaries in the Poland and Boardman area since 2009.
“They won’t be able to recognize the individual because he is wearing a white motorcycle helmet, but maybe they can recognize the helmet, the clothes that the individual is wearing, or if somebody just has personal knowledge of the individual who is committing these crimes,” Poland Township police Det. Greg Wilson said.
Police said they also have DNA evidence linking the same person to five burglaries, the most recent of which happened in early December. That morning, the car owner was beaten with a flashlight when he confronted the burglar on Cliffview Drive in Poland Township.
“Flashlight was recovered at the scene. It was sent to BCI and we were able to obtain a DNA profile from that flashlight. The DNA profile matched the same profile as four other incidents, one other occurring in Poland Township, two in Poland Village and one in Boardman,” Wilson said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Poland Village, Poland Township or Boardman police departments.