Grove City police have arrested a man suspected burglarizing the home of a local widow while she was at her husband’s funeral.
Scott A. Byers, 36, of S. Ashburton Road in east Columbus, has been arrested and charged in connection with a burglary that occurred between 8 and 11:05 a.m. Jan. 7, in the 4300 block of Stoner Drive, the Grove City Division of Police announced on its Facebook site this afternoon.
Police asked for help earlier this week in locating the suspect. It is unknown whether he had knowledge of the funeral when he broke in while it was taking place. The detective handling the case was not immediately available for comment on the arrest.
But Byers was reported seen in the act of burglarizing the home Jan. 7 by three friends of the widow who had arrived at to prepare the house for guests who would be visiting after the funeral.
Police said he then fled on foot to the 2800 block of Woodgrove Drive, where he stole a car to make his getaway. The car was recovered at 12:55 p.m. that day in a parking lot in the 3500 block of Sunshine Park Place.
An undetermined amount of jewelry was stolen, but Byers was identified by police based on items found at the scene.
Police have identified a man suspected of breaking into a home of a Grove City widow while she attended the funeral of her husband.
A felony warrant has been issued against Scott A. Byers, 36, of S. Ashburton Road in east Columbus, for a burglary that occurred between 8 and 11:05 a.m. Jan. 7, in the 4300 block of Stoner Drive, during the funeral.
Three friends of the widow arrived at 11:05 a.m. to prepare for guests who would be visiting after the funeral. They found a picture frame and photos lying on the floor in the living room, and shortly after that, they saw a man run down the front stairs and out the front door. They did not see his face but could tell he was wearing a black Carhartt-style coat and red knit cap and carrying at least one yellow grocery-type bag.
Police say that man is Byers. According to information provided by the Grove City Division of Police, Byers does not have any vehicles in working order but is known to carry a handgun.
"He's still at-large, and we are actively trying to locate him," said Grove City Police Detective Rick Steller, adding that Madison County has also put out alerts for Byers.
Steller said Byers was identified as the suspect based on items found at the scene of the crime. Presently, it's not known if Byers knew the house would be empty because of a funeral.
"I'd like to ask him," Steller said.
A check of the residence revealed jewelry boxes and dresser drawers were rummaged through, and an undetermined amount of jewelry was stolen along with possibly other items. The suspect apparently entered by breaking in the walk-through door of the garage.
Steller said the resident is still conducting an inventory to determine everything that was stolen.
A black cellphone was found in the yard right outside the front door that did not belong to anyone in the house along with footprints in the snow that went east to the 2800 block of Woodgrove Drive, where a car was reported stolen to the police while officers investigated the house on Stoner Drive. Byers is believed to have used the stolen car as a getaway vehicle. The car was recovered at 12:55 p.m. that day in a parking lot in the 3500 block of Sunshine Park Place.
Steller said it's believed Byers was picked up by someone else after he dumped the stolen car, but who that other person was has not been determined.
According to information from the Franklin County Clerk of Courts, Byers pled guilty to two counts felonious assault in 2002. He also was charged at the time with aggravated burglary, kidnapping and attempted murder, but those charges were dismissed by prosecutors and not pursued.
Byers also pled guilty to burglary charges in 1997.
Byers is reported to be 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, with brown hair and eyes.
Anyone who has seen Byers or has questions should contact Grove City Police at 614-277-1710.