Ravenna teens caught in police perimeter, charged with burglary

Priscilla Tasker

Donna Hart thought it was odd when a silver car pulled into her driveway on Carthage Street at about 9:44 p.m. Friday night. She hadn’t been expecting company. She was home alone.

Four young men emerged from the vehicle, approached her front door and tried to open it. When they found the door locked, they began to ring the doorbell repeatedly, Hart said.

“When I saw them jump out of the car all at once, I thought to myself, ‘This isn’t right,'” Hart said.

Hart hid in the bathroom so as not to be seen by her assailants and called police at 9:45 p.m.

“They were here real quick,” she said.

Police Lt. John Altomare said the four males ran north from the home through backyards when Kent police arrived at 9:46 p.m. Officers pursued the suspects and back-up was called to set up a perimeter to contain them in the area, he said.

“We had officers covering the track, then we had the K9 units and other officers backing them up,” Altomare said.

About 19 police units from area law enforcement agencies – including the City of Kent, Kent State, Brimfield Township, the Portage County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol – contained the suspects within the perimeter, which spanned four blocks along state Route 43 from Carthage Street to Needham Avenue.

The search lasted one hour and one minute from the time of call, Altomare said, until the four suspects were discovered hiding in a cardboard recycling bin outside Industrial Molded Plastics, Inc. on West Grant Street, and were arrested at 10:46 p.m.

According to the Kent Police Department’s press release, the suspects, whose names have not been released, were juveniles ages 15 to 16 from Ravenna. Altomare said they were tied to another burglary on Dansel Avenue earlier that night, and the silver car they drove to Hart’s home was not theirs.

The juveniles were charged with burglary and delinquency by attempted burglary. Their parents were notified, but the teens were not released, Altomare said. Officers transported them to the Portage-Geauga Juvenile Detention Center.

“Because of the seriousness of the case, the juvenile detention center will keep them until Monday morning,” Altomare said.

Police will continue an investigation of the incidents, and according to the police report, more charges may be filed upon its completion.

Hart said she was surprised anyone would try to burgle in her quiet neighborhood. But a friend told her another neighborhood on River Bend Boulevard, across from Kent Roosevelt High School, had also experienced recent burglaries, and Hart said it made more sense after hearing there were others going on.

Altomare confirmed a rise in burglaries in the Kent area.

Hart said she was relieved police had found the suspects.

Contact health trends reporter Priscilla Tasker at [email protected].