NORTH RIDGEVILLE – After a homeowner interrupted and recognized a suspected burglar inside her home on Tuesday, police were able to arrest an 18-year-old man they said is a suspect in “multiple” burglaries in the city.
Alex James Freeman is a suspect in several other similar crimes, North Ridgeville Police Capt. Marti Garrow said Friday, “and we've arrested him for a couple as well that we've been able to put on him.”
The intended victim’s description of Freeman, whom she knew, along with the homeowner’s video surveillance footage of the alleged crime taking place and officers’ knowledge of Freeman’s vehicle quickly led to his arrest, Garrow said.
Officers responded at 2:12 p.m. Tuesday to the 5800 block of Rosebelle Avenue on the city's north side for a burglary in progress. Two suspects fled on foot prior to officers arriving on the scene, but one was identified as Freeman.
The homeowner, whom Garrow said may have been the target of burglars before, got an alert on her phone that her alarm system had been triggered, went home and interrupted the burglary.
“She actually recognized” Freeman, he said. “She knew him by name.”
The intended victim then chased Freeman “through several backyards”
An off-duty officer saw Freeman’s vehicle, which Garrow said was familiar to police, on Bainbridge Road shortly after the burglary was reported. A traffic stop was conducted and Freeman was arrested without incident, he said.
A 15-year-old boy also was identified and arrested as a suspect and alleged accomplice in the Rosebelle Avenue burglary, Garrow said. Nothing appeared to have been stolen, due to the homeowner’s interruption, and “she gave us a good description,” he said.
Freeman is being held in the Lorain County Jail on $24,000 cash or surety bond pending future court dates, according to booking records. Current charges include burglary, complicity and contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child, records show, though additional or amended charges are possible once the case is presented to a grand jury.
At the time of Tuesday's arrest, Freeman was out on bond on felony drug trafficking and possession charges, stemming from a Sept. 29 arrest also by North Ridgeville police.
In that case, Garrow said officers investigating a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. found Freeman "passed out" behind the wheel of his car with drug paraphernalia visible in the front seat.
A search of the vehicle turned up a black bookbag allegedly containing "four different bags of marijuana, 44 pre-packaged chocolate hearts believed to be marijuana edibles, some syringes" and wax paper and a plastic bag with a sticky substance believed to be hashish, Garrow said.
More than $400 in cash also was seized, and Freeman was charged with trafficking in marijuana and trafficking in hashish, both fourth-degree felonies, possession of marijuana and possession of hashish, both fifth-degree felonies, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.