Tuscarawas County, Ohio - Deputies say a couple who stole a car from outside a Bolivar business and fled from troopers in Stark County may also have been responsible for at least a dozen vehicle break-ins in Lawrence Township and a second stolen vehicle.
Deputy Lincoln Troyer of the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office says they started getting calls Monday night about a suspicious person breaking into vehicles in a Lawrence Township neighborhood. Deputies responded to the scene and patrolled the area but were unable to locate anyone at that time.
Troyer says the calls continued into the morning as other residents awoke to discover their vehicles had been ransacked overnight. Troyer says later that afternoon, they received a call from the Sleep Inn called to report a male and female had damaged a hotel room and left carrying luggage.
Troyer says he and Sgt. Bruce Lowery responded to the scene and began patrolling the area for the suspects when another call came in about a white Nissan Murano that had just been stolen from the parking lot of Vaughan’s Pub. He said the owner believed the car had been stolen by a male and female who had been inside the pub with luggage talking about trying to get a ride to Akron.
Troyer says they immediately issued a BOLO to the Highway Patrol post in Stark County and the Stark Sheriff’s Department. A short time later, they received word troopers were behind the vehicle in Stark County.
Troyer says the officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, and a pursuit ensued that ended on Waterloo Road in Summit County. He says the female remained inside the vehicle and was arrested at the scene. The male fled on foot on was captured a short time later.
The suspects were later identified as Jerry L. Steele of Cuyahoga Falls and Alicia M. Perez of Parma Heights.
Troyer says the couple is believed to have been responsible for the Lawrence break-ins due items found inside the vehicle. They’re also suspects in the theft of a Ford F150 from Summit County that was found abandoned at the NTR Canoe Livery.
Troyer says the due to the extensive nature of the case, the investigation will likely take a while to complete. He says they still have to process both vehicles and inventory the items found inside.
“Hopefully, when this is done and over, we’ll get the property that we have and try to figure out who it belongs to with all these other reports that have been given to us of people’s cars being broken into, and we’ll try to work on getting that property back to the rightful owners,” he says.
Troyer says they’ll be putting together a report for the Tuscarawas County Prosecutor's Office. They’re expecting multiple felony charges against the suspects.