A homeless man broke into a woman’s home in Youngstown, Ohio. The homeowner arrived home to find a man in her shower, and police arrested the man after allegedly “making himself at home,” WJACTV reports.
Police arrested a 33-year-old homeless man by the name of Jacob Merchant who was responsible for break-ins, where he allegedly brought his own food to cook inside the homes, and even used their showers. On Saturday, the homeless man was charged with two counts of breaking and entering, as well as three counts of burglary.
According to The Vindicator, Merchant has been accused of multiple burglaries. Detective Sgt. Ronald Rodway mentioned that this has been the most “bizarre” case he had ever seen. According to Rodway, the homeless man was inside the woman’s house for four hours.
Authorities in Youngstown say the 33-year-old homeless man brought his own food to cook during break-ins.https://t.co/0FJybflW3J
— ABC 22/FOX 45 Dayton (@ABC22FOX45) January 29, 2017
He literally broke into the house, cooked his own food that he brought with him using the woman’s stove, then prior to leaving, he used the woman’s shower. Unfortunately for him, the woman came home at 12:15 a.m. and caught him while he was taking a shower. She noticed food all over the kitchen, realized her stove had been used, and heard running water from upstairs.
WYTV has revealed that the victim of this home break-in was Loraine Centofanti.
“He’s in here sitting down in the shower rinsing his hair.”
When the woman ran outside to call the police, Centrofanti ran out shortly after. Detectives were able to find him just before he was attempting to board a WRTA bus.
Sgt. Mike Cox with Youngstown Police Department spoke with Merchant after his most recent arrest.
“He just kept saying he went to get warm and eat.”
Each case was pretty much the same ordeal. He would bring cigarettes, bags of food, and beer with him each time he broke into a house. Video Surveillance from a Shell Gas Station showed Merchant kicking in Centrofanti’s door.
“He admitted to us he went in about an hour after he bought everything. He was probably there four-and-a-half hours.”
Centrofanti said that she had to clean her filthy house after the break-in. She stated that Merchant trashed each and every room, leaving food and trash in each one.
Police believe that Merchant may have mental issues, but that doesn’t make Centrofanti feel any better about the ordeal, as she is still very shaken by the situation.
A second homeless man in New York City was arrested after a series of home break-ins, according to North Jersey. Donald R. Mormando, Jr. was found to be responsible for a burglary on December 16, where he stole $10,000 worth of jewelry from the home. He is also a suspect in a December 14 break-in.
When police had enough evidence to arrest Mormando, he was transferred back to New Jersey, where he was originally from, but the investigation is ongoing.
The Secaucus Police ask that anyone with information on either of the two burglaries, to contact the Secaucus Police Detective Division at 201-330-2052 or email at email@example.com.
The San Jose Police Department has provided some tips to prevent burglary.
- Make it difficult to break in, and always make your home look occupied.
- Always lock all of your windows and doors prior to going anywhere, even if you are only leaving for a short while.
- Leave the lights on when you leave, or use lamps with automatic timers to make the lights occasionally switch on and off.
- Always make sure your garage door is closed and locked.
- If you are going to be gone for longer periods at a time, arrange for the post office to hold your mail rather than let it pile up in your mailbox. Arrange for someone to mow your lawn if you will be gone for an extended period of time.
- Put deadbolt locks on all of your doors.
- If you have sliding glass doors, use special locks to provide better security.
For additional tips, take a look at this large list.
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