MEDINA TWP. — No arrests have been made yet in what police are calling a major theft ring in Medina and Lorain counties.
Thousands of items worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars” were recovered from three locations Tuesday, Medina Township Police Chief David Arbogast said.
Arbogast said many of the items were electronics and some were Christmas ornaments.
“It was really bizarre,” he said. “I would venture this had been going on for a year or several years.”
The items were thought to be taken from six or seven retail stores, some as far away as Columbus, Arbogast said.
“This group was stealing from various stores and selling on eBay (and Craigslist),” he said.
Arbogast said he got a call from one of the loss prevention officers at one of the stores who had noticed some trends. Detective Angela Viva was the lead detective on the case, which has been ongoing for a couple months.
“She did a lot of the legwork,” Arbogast said.
Medina County Prosecutor S. Forrest Thompson was on the scene as police served three search warrants to houses on Monterey Drive in Medina Township, Carpenter Road in Brunswick and in North Ridgeville. The actual addresses and names of the suspects have not been released.
“He was there to make sure everything was done properly,” Arbogast said.
The police chief said eight members of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation helped serve the warrants, along with almost half of the Medina Township police staff. Police departments from Brunswick, Montville Township and North Ridgeville were also involved in the raids.
“It was a major collaboration,” he said.
Arbogast said there’s a long way to go before any arrests are made. He said it will take quite some time to sort through all the items, which were taken to the Medina Township police station.
“I did not anticipate this much volume,” he said.
He said investigators have to go through each item and determine what store it was from and its value. They have to subpoena the suspects’ bank records and go through their computers (two were taken from the houses) and cell phones.
“There’s a wealth of information on eBay,” Arbogast said.
Once all the information is obtained, police will present its case to the Medina County grand jury. “Hopefully, they will return an indictment, and arrests will be made based on the indictment,” Arbogast said.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.