Vacuum theft ring busted

Posted at 7:36 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 19:36:11-05

A Cleveland man and three other Cleveland-area residents have been indicted on charges related to a major vacuum theft ring.

Sources connected to the investigation tell that 28-year-old Shawn Burke stole as many as 100 Kirby vacuums over the past several years with help from his co-worker, Wilson Perea, Jr. The crimes took place at UPS Freight on Industrial Parkway in Cleveland where Burke and Perea, Jr. worked.

“It’s an expensive machine; people don’t realize that Kirby sells from $2,600 to $3,000,” said Fletcher Brown, owner of Parma Vacuum in Parma Heights. “It’s not your average-priced vacuum cleaner. It’s well sought-after, especially in Northeast Ohio, since they’re made here.”

Brown said he often has people try to re-sell Kirby vacuums to him. Some of them even have the serial number filed off, an indicator that it is stolen.

"Occasionally, they'll come in and try to sell you just the bags," he added.

Sources say Burke sold the vacuums out of his garage or put them up for sale on Ebay. Asad Ibrahim of Brookpark and Fawzi Ibrahim of Parma are indicted for helping to sell the stolen merchandise online. found Burke at his Cleveland home Wednesday, but he declined to talk about his recent run-in with the law.

A spokeswoman for UPS said Burke and Perea, Jr. are no longer working at UPS. The company is cooperating with law enforcement on the case.

Burke and his three co-defendants have not been arrested. Burke has a previous conviction of failing to comply with police orders in Cuyahoga County.


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