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Police briefs, Aug. 16, 2007


Drugs found in field, apartment

Sheriff’s deputies and Elyria police received a handful of phone calls from Lorain County residents this past month who stumbled upon illegal drugs, including a Rochester Township farmer who found 20 marijuana plants growing in his cornfield.

At 9:30 a.m. June 23, deputies were called to a Quarry Road property after a 30-year-old man said a man who was fertilizing a swath of cornfield found 20 marijuana plants growing in the field, a deputy’s report said.

When deputies arrived, they found just five newly planted marijuana plants, which were plucked and seized as evidence, the report said.

But that find wasn’t the only incident involving local folks stumbling on drugs.

About 10 a.m. Monday, Elyria police were called to Westway Garden apartments on Melvyn Lane, where maintenance workers found a clay pot containing a few small marijuana plants, a police report said.

Officers seized the pot as evidence, but just two hours later they were called to a Brunswick Drive apartment where maintenance workers said they found a 1.3-gram bag of cocaine.

Officers seized that bag as evidence as well, but at 2:25 p.m. they were called to Lorain National Bank on Cleveland Street, where a bank supervisor said that a customer came to her window and handed her a bag that contained a “green type vegetable substance,” a report said.

The bank supervisor told police she put the suspected marijuana into a bank envelope. Police weighed the bag of suspected marijuana — about 7.7 grams — and seized it as their third take of evidence for Monday.

Woman beaten by three others

ELYRIA — An Elyria woman was hospitalized early Tuesday after being assaulted by three women who accused her of looking at them as they passed her house, an Elyria police report said.

Police met the victim, 18, at EMH Regional Medical Center around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, where she was being treated for abrasions and severe swelling to her face, the report said.

The woman told police she was at her uncle’s home at Middle Avenue and 11th Street when around midnight three females walked past the house and accused her of staring at them, the report said.

One of the assailants approached the porch and grabbed the victim by the hair, pulling her off the porch as another suspect began punching the victim in the face, the report said.

The woman said she took off running, but the three women caught up and continued assaulting her, punching her repeatedly in the face and head and ripping out her earrings in the process, the reports said. Eventually a man arrived with a gun and the crowd scattered, while the victim went to the hospital and called police, who are investigating, the report said.

Avon man leads 2-city police chase

LORAIN — An Avon man led a two-city chase Monday after residents called police with suspicions that a man was sitting in a car doing drugs.

The chase, which took officers and 24-year-old Michael Garcia through several residential streets, started shortly after 11:30 p.m. when officers approached an idling gray Ford Focus on the 2900 block of Andrews Place. Garcia was inside the car, leaning back in the driver’s seat, according to a police report.

Upon seeing officers, Garcia drove toward West 29th Street.

The chase did not end until Amherst police officers stopped Garcia near the Veterans Memorial on North Lake Street, just south of the police station.

Garcia was charged with failure to comply, reckless operation, driving under suspension, possession of crack cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and aggravated assault.

Garcia drove through more than a half-dozen stop signs, weaving through traffic and at one point driving directly at a cruiser, the report said.

Once Garcia was placed in handcuffs by police, officers found a bag of marijuana and more than $1,000 in his front pants pocket, the report said. Police also found a bag of crack cocaine stuffed in the back seat of the police cruiser Garcia rode in on the way to the county jail. The report said they believe those drugs also belonged to him.

New London man loses rifle on road

PENFIELD TWP. — A New London man told deputies he lost a high-powered rifle in Penfield Township, a sheriff’s report said.

The man called deputies on July 26 after discovering he’d lost the weapon. He told deputies he and his cousin were shooting the gun at a relative’s Foster Road home when some confusion arose as to who would take the gun home, the report said.

Neither man took responsibility for the gun, and the owner said he suspected he lost it after leaving it on the bumper of his truck, the report said.

The man told deputies it may have fallen off the truck between Short and Hawley Road, the report said.

The gun was a high-powered 7 mm Remington rifle, with initials “CS” on the trigger guard, the report said.

Converters stolen from cars in auto lot

COLUMBIA TWP. — Thieves stole catalytic converters off five vehicles that were parked at a Columbia Township automotive repair shop last month, a sheriff deputy’s report said.

Deputies were called to Turner Automotive on Royalton Road around 8 a.m. July 27 after the owner discovered that catalytic converters had been taken off five trucks and vans that were parked in the lot waiting to be repaired, the report said.

The catalytic converters were worth nearly $6,000, the report said.

Oberlin woman falls prey to e-mail scam

OBERLIN — An Oberlin woman was scammed out of $50,000 after falling victim to what bank employees said was a phishing e-mail scam, a sheriff deputy’s report said.

The woman, 47, who is also a Realtor, called deputies Aug. 6 after discovering thousands of dollars had been transferred from her bank account, the report said.

The woman told deputies she received an e-mail from someone claiming to be from Fifth Third Bank asking her to verify her bank account information. The woman complied, and about one week later she discovered that three transfers worth a total $50,000 were made from her bank account, the report said.

Bank employees told the woman there was no way to track the online transactions, and she could only file a report with the sheriff’s department.

St. Joseph Community Center vandalized

LORAIN — Vandals caused about $3,400 in damages when they smashed out five windows at St. Joseph Community Center, a Lorain police report said.

Police were called to the West 20th Street facility at 9 a.m. Monday by a security guard who discovered the damage after conducting an inspection, the report said. The guard discovered five windows — one of which was worth $1,500 — were damaged by what appeared to be BBs shot from a BB gun, the report said.

The security guard also told police he discovered various gang-related graffiti and writing on the windows, the report said. 

Teens’ bragging leads to their arrest

LORAIN — Two boys contributed to their own undoing Tuesday morning when they told a fast-food clerk that Lorain police were searching for them because they shot cars with a paintball gun, according to a Lorain police report.

The boys, ages 16 and 17, were charged Tuesday with criminal damaging, possession of criminal tools and curfew violation, the report stated, adding that a third 17-year-old boy was later charged for the same offenses when the first two boys provided police with his name.

At about 11:55 p.m. Monday, Officer Kyle Gelenius received reports that boys were shooting paintballs at passing cars near East 36th Street and Clinton Avenue, the report said.

When Gelenius arrived, two drivers  said the suspects were hiding in the woods and shooting paintballs at passing vehicles. Officers checked  and couldn’t locate anyone — until just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, when a clerk at Burger King on Fairless Drive told officers that a truck with three boys dressed in camouflage clothing had just passed through the store’s drive-through, the report said.

The clerk told police that the three boys were bragging that police were chasing them because they’d been out “paint-balling vehicles,” the report said.

The fast-foot clerk copied down the truck’s license plate, which police traced to an East 33rd Street address, near where they arrested the suspects.

— from staff reports

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