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The Daily



09-06-03: Man arrested for theft; Celina police continue to probe other incidents


A St. Marys man has been charged in connection with the theft of a bicycle from a Cron Street residence in Celina early Thursday morning.
Andrew J. Meinerding, 19, 856 Townview Drive, was apprehended shortly after Celina Police were called to the scene by a neighbor of the victim, Tonya Saunders, 501 Cron St.
The neighbor, Robert Roe, told officers he watched a pickup truck park down the street from his mobile home, three suspects leave the vehicle and one of them take a bicycle from Saunders’ yard. He yelled at the suspect, who then pedaled from the scene.
Police, arriving in response to Roe’s 11:39 p.m. call, were unable to locate any suspects at the scene. The truck abandoned at the scene was being towed when Meinerding returned and told officers the vehicle had been stolen.
Meinerding confessed to taking the bicycle during an ensuing interview, according to police reports. He was unable to identify the other suspects.
Saunders also reported her vehicle had been entered. A bank book and some cash allegedly were taken.
An investigation into the vehicle entry is continuing, and no one has been implicated thus far. Police have responded to similar calls during the past 10 days.
“These are crimes of opportunity,” police Chief Dave Slusser told The Daily Standard. “They usually take place on hot summer nights, but this streak seems to have started later than usual.”
Slusser said officers involved in stakeouts have seen perpetrators try a door handle. If the vehicle is locked, they move to greener pastures in hopes of finding unlocked doors.
Perpetrators, who generally range in age from 14 to 25, ransack the interior looking for CDs, stereo equipment, cash, coins and other items that can be carried away without much effort, according to Slusser.
Money appears to be the most popular target, but recent calls involved gas being siphoned and a stereo pulled from the dash. Culprits sometimes return to the scene of an earlier crime, to which a Sunset Drive victim can attest. Money was taken from her unlocked vehicle on two occasions in the span of a week.
“The best advice I can offer local residents is to lock their vehicles,” Slusser said. “If you have to keep valuables inside, then lock them in the trunk.”


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822