Westerville News & Public Opinion

Police beat

Westerville: Electronics reported stolen in E. Home Street burglary

A house in the 200 block of East Home Street was burglarized April 7 when an unknown suspect found a spare key in the back of the residence, Westerville police reported.

The resident of the home left in the morning and returned home about 2 p.m. to find the back door wide open and her flat-screen television sitting outside. She immediately looked around the house to identify anything else out of the ordinary.

Among other items reported missing were an iPad, two iPod Touches, a laptop, a digital camera, multiple video-game consoles and games and a pair of headphones. A checkbook, box of jewelry and several credit cards were left undisturbed, police reports said.

A bottle of gin had been moved onto the kitchen counter and the key for the back door was still missing.

Neighbors reported seeing two teenagers walking in the neighborhood around noon and provided a vague description, but the individuals were not found. A neighbor also reported a vehicle in the driveway of the house, but it was determined that the vehicle belonged to a friend who was called to the house after the burglary had already been reported.

In other recent incident reports from the Westerville Division of Police:

* A man suspected of robbing the pharmacy at Kroger, 55 W. Schrock Road, March 24 was seen in the store again April 10.

A Kroger employee notified police that the man was the same one who had been seen taking more than $2,700 worth of drugs from the pharmacy just weeks before, after passing the attendant a note that said he had a gun.

Police arrested the man as he walked out of the store and charged him with robbery. He was transported to Franklin County jail.

* An attempted burglary in the 900 block of East College Avenue was interrupted when the victim witnessed a male force entry into the back of her home and then flee the premises.

A neighbor watched the subject matching the victim's description run through a yard and into a residence less than half a mile away from the attempted break-in.

Officers checked the house and the male suspect was inside. He told officers that he had been asleep all morning, but matched the victim's description and was identified and taken to police headquarters for booking.

* Two female children ran home from Metzger Park after they said a man followed them for 15 minutes in the park.

The girls said the man -- described as white and in his 20s, with black hair -- was walking behind them and increased speed as they did. Officers checked the area, but were unable to find a suspect.

* Police investigated a room at the Red Roof Inn, 909 S. State St., April 7 after employees found drug paraphernalia and suspected drugs in the room after a visitor checked out.

The occupants had only paid through the day before and had not reported for checkout. Police found multiple syringes and other items related to drug use, reports said.

Two suspects have been identified but no arrests had been made.

* A student at Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road, reportedly brought an Airsoft gun to school April 7. Another student told an officer that the student said he had brought a gun to school, and the assistant principal was notified.

Officers brought the student into an office and found the "handgun style" toy gun in his backpack. The gun was not functional and was collected as evidence.

The student said he and his friends had been playing with the guns over the weekend and he forgot it was in his backpack. He was charged with illegal possession of an object indistinguishable from a firearm in a school safety zone, through the Franklin County Juvenile Court, and released to his guardian.

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