A man suspected of robbing over 50 homes across Northeast Ohio was finally caught by police in Macedonia on Thursday.
A homeowner in the 9400 block of Valley View Road in Macedonia called police after a man appeared to attempt to burglarize the home. The homeowner told police the man knocked on the front door very loudly. When no one answered, he walked back to the passenger side of a silver pickup truck in the driveway where he put a hooded sweatshirt on over his blue sleeveless t-shirt and a black baseball hat. Then he began to walk toward the back of the house, according to the police report.
At this point, the homeowner opened the door and asked if they could help the man, according to police. The man asked if the homeowner had seen a black lab and got back in the truck, officers said.
The homeowner took pictures of the truck and described the man as a white male in his 50s standing about 5-feet-6-inches tall with a clean-shaved face and a bald head.
A couple of hours later, an officer said he found the vehicle on North Bedford Road. The officer said the vehicle, a silver Chevrolet Silverado, pulled slowly into a driveway and then immediately pulled back out as he drove by.
Police said the vehicle had been circulated throughout Northeast Ohio as being involved in about 50 burglaries. The other police departments involved include Lakewood, Bainbridge, Solon, Copley, Reminderville, Independence, Brecksville and Parkman Township. The Portage County Sheriff's Office and the Geauga County Sheriff's Office were also involved.
Stephen Blazo was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. Robert Duarte is also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. Police said a warrant for his arrest will be requested.
The following message was included with the burglary update in a Facebook post by the Macedonia Police Department:
This reiterates what I have said for years now. When someone knocks on your door you should answer the door to acknowledge that someone is home. I’m often criticized for saying this. Unfortunately, these people miss my point. I’ve never said you have to throw your front door wide open and say hello but you “answer” by talking thru the door or adjacent window while keeping the door locked and secure between you and the person knocking. Every burglar knocks on the door before breaking in. They do this to see if someone’s home. If no one answers they break in. The perfect example is above. This burglar was going to break in to that house because no one answered after he knocked forcefully. He changed into his burglar outfit and was headed around back to do so. He left only after the homeowner answered. In this case she opened the door but only because he wasn’t standing there and was headed around back.