NORTH RIDGEVILLE — An employee of a local nightspot leaving work early Sunday discovered a man in her car about to make off with several smartphones and her purse.
The man threw the items from the car window, got into his own vehicle and left — running several red lights at speeds of up to 80 mph according to the woman and a motorcyclist, who told police he was almost run over by the fleeing suspect.
Richard N. Hebebrand, 21, of North Ridgeville, was arrested and charged with theft and reckless operation. He was released on bond.
The incident began about 3 a.m. Sunday as a 19-year-old Lorain woman was walking to her car with a group of other people after getting off work at Crissy’s Place, a nightspot just inside North Ridgeville at 39462 Center Ridge Road, said North Ridgeville Police Capt. Marti Garrow.
As the employee neared her Chevy Malibu, she and three others walking with her noticed the vehicle’s interior lights were on and saw a man inside the car, police said.
The woman yelled for the man to get out of her car, Garrow said.
At that point, the man ran from her vehicle, got into a white 1996 Lincoln Town Car, and threw items including several phones, other electronic devices and a purse from the car’s window before driving off.
The woman took off after the suspect, who reportedly sped east on Center Ridge Road, Garrow said.
The woman called police during her pursuit.
At one point, the fleeing driver nearly struck a motorcyclist, police said.
After speaking with the woman at Jaycox and Center Ridge roads, police used a description of the suspect’s car to trace it to a Center Ridge Road address where they found Hebebrand, who was identified by the woman as the man inside her car.
Hebebrand denied any involvement in the theft of the woman’s property, Garrow said.
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.