VERMILION — Two men with lengthy criminal records — including previous charges for similar crimes — were arrested Friday on charges they broke into and stole from multiple vehicles in the city.
After a brief foot chase Friday morning, Vermilion police officers arrested Tyler Weaver, 34, of Delamere Road, and Steven Hite, 27, of Cemetery Road.
Weaver and Hite allegedly had “several items” that had been stolen from vehicles in their possession at the time of their arrests, according to Vermilion police. Additional charges against the two men are possible, with investigators working to identify the alleged stolen property and its owners.
Weaver was held in Lorain County Jail pending arraignment Thursday afternoon in Vermilion Municipal Court, according to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.
Hite was handed over to Avon police “for the first of many agencies with outstanding arrest warrants to serve,” Vermilion police wrote on their Facebook page. Jail records showed he was being held Thursday on $5,000 bond, with his next court appearance scheduled for March 7 in Avon Lake Municipal Court on charges of receiving stolen property and misuse of a credit card filed by Avon police.
Vermilion police have been investigating a rash of thefts from vehicles, especially in the Vermilion-on-the-Lake neighborhood and in the area of Portland Road, since mid-February. At least one of those thefts was captured on video and officers were on the lookout for suspects.
To deter thieves, police recommend that vehicle owners remove all valuables and lock their doors when parking them overnight or anywhere for an extended time. Also, outdoor lighting can help deter thefts, which police said often are crimes of opportunity.
According to Vermilion Municipal Court records, since 2003 Weaver has racked up nearly 30 criminal charges ranging from minor misdemeanor marijuana possession, theft, obstructing official business, criminal trespass and vehicle trespass to breaking and entering and trafficking in drugs. Charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug abuse instruments filed in December 2018 by Vermilion police still are pending in that court, records show.
Hite’s criminal record includes previous charges of theft, criminal trespass, resisting arrest and parole violations. He has another court date scheduled for Tuesday on a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge filed in December, also by Vermilion police.
It is at least the third arrest in the past month related to similar crimes. On Feb. 19, officers responded to Hartford Avenue for a report of a suspicious person attempting to enter cars parked there. James Martin, 25, was arrested on three counts of attempted vehicle trespass and two counts of criminal trespass, according to Vermilion Municipal Court records.
Martin pleaded not guilty at his arraignment that same day, posted a $3,000 surety bond and is free pending future court dates, according to court records.
Martin has more than two-dozen entries in Vermilion Municipal Court records on charges including burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass, dating back as far as 2011.