Tuesday, September 19, 2017 Elyria 67°

Cops and Courts

Lorain County men accused of breaking into Medina County bar


HARRISVILLE TWP. — Two Lorain County men were arrested early Friday and accused of breaking into a tavern.

Brandon Lee Whatmore, 30, of Elyria, and Brandon Lee Thomas, 21, of Grafton, are charged with breaking and entering and possession of criminal tools, fifth-degree felonies punishable by up to a year in jail.

Sheriff’s deputies reported finding the men inside the Midway Tavern, 9977 Lafayette Road, at about 3:30 a.m. Deputies were dispatched to the bar after the owner, who lives next door to the tavern, reported a security monitoring system alerted to a possible break-in.

Sheriff’s Capt. David Centner said deputies arrived to find the front window broken and Whatmore and Thomas inside.

“Once they were taken into custody, they refused to cooperate or say anything,” Centner said. “We don’t believe there’s any relationship between these two and the bar. It was probably a target of opportunity.

“We’re seeing more and more that folks are coming from outside communities to commit crimes.”

The men were taken to the Medina County Jail. They were arraigned Friday before Wadsworth Municipal Court Judge Stephen B. McIlvaine, who set bail for each man at $15,000.

No court date has been set.

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