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Roundup: Nov. 14, 2007


Police trying to find links between thefts

AMHERST - Police are trying to determine if some recent armed robberies - including one Monday at a Cooper Foster Park Road gas station - are related.

In that incident, a Hispanic man in his late 20s or 30s, wearing a black coat and a black knit cap with white stripes, entered Pure Gas Station at 10:06 p.m., pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and demanded money, Amherst police Lt. Joseph Kucirek said in a press release Tuesday.

The robber fled north after an employee handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, Kucirek said.

In the past week, there were two other robberies at businesses in Lorain and Sheffield Lake, so police are working together to determine if there is a link.

Late Sunday, a man brandishing a semiautomatic handgun late Sunday took $50 from the Tower Boulevard Shell station in Lorain, according to a police report. The robber entered the station wearing a black ski mask over his face and held the cashier at gunpoint, the report said.

Police checked the area but did not find a man matching the cashier`s description.

Similar incidents were reported over the weekend at Rite Aid and Speedway in Sheffield Lake, according to dispatchers there.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about these robberies or others to call the Amherst police at (440) 988-2625; Lorain police at (440) 204-2100; or Sheffield Lake police at (440) 949-7131.

Man reportedly shoots his own house

LORAIN - Police found a man cleaning up glass from his front stoop shortly after midnight Tuesday after he allegedly shot a hole through his Hogan Drive home, according to a Lorain police report.

Michael Ybarra, 34, was charged with discharging firearms in the city limits and using weapons while intoxicated.

Officers found gunshot holes in the front door window, in the storm door and in an overhang above the door. A bullet was found lodged in the wooden framing of the residence, the report said.

A loaded 9 mm handgun was seized from a bedroom, police said.  According to the report, Ybarra said he had the weapon because he had been threatened last weekend.

He told police he fired the gun after he heard a noise outside the house, the report said.

75-year-old plows car into health center

LORAIN - Reaching for the brake and hitting the accelerator instead, a 75-year-old woman plunged her car through the wall of an Oberlin Avenue health center Tuesday.

The only person more shocked probably was the man standing at the reception counter inside, said Lorain fire Capt. Tom Sultzer.

"He said he heard a big boom - like a bomb almost - and looked down. The car was only two and a half feet from his leg," he said.

Police had not charged the driver late Tuesday and did not release her name.

Ed Klim, owner of Healthwise Weight Loss Center, said the woman was arriving at his center and light-heartedly chalked the crash up as an accident. The entire length of the car made it through the wall and into the lobby area, he said.

No one was hurt in the crash, but the building was heavily damaged.

For now, the weight loss center remains open. Klim said he has not yet decided whether to close down while the repairs are made.

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