Suspect with enormous amount of stolen property arrested in Wooster

Man was taking taxis to neighborhoods to steal
Posted at 12:03 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 16:55:02-04

Wooster police used a creative sting to catch a man suspected in multiple car, garage and home break-ins.

Charges are now pending against Alexander Wertz, 28, of Wooster.

Officers recovered an enormous amount of stolen property at his home and inside a tent just off his property.

Wooster Police Chief Matthew Fisher said dozens of similar crimes have occurred since June 1.

Captain Scott Rotolo said Wertz has a prior record of theft, receiving stolen property and possession of drugs. 

Detective Anthony Lemmon said Wertz may be connected to 129 car break-ins and 11 burglaries in the city.

According to Lemmon, Wertz would often call for a taxi and have it take him to a neighborhood where he would break in to vehicles. He would then walk home with the stolen items, including cell phones, IPads, other electronics purses.

After getting a tip, police staked out Wertz around 3 a.m. Thursday morning and watched him take a taxi to a neighborhood.

Officers planted an undercover car as bait and Wertz fell for it by opening the unlocked door, police said.

Police approached Wertz, but he took off running and got away, according to Lemmon.

Lemmon said police later staked out Wertz' house on Normandy Drive in Wooster and he was arrested when he returned.

Authorities encourage anyone who has been a victim of these break-ins to contact Detective Anthony Lemmon at 330-287-5720 or email 

Wooster police are asking the public for patience as they sort through the mass amount of stolen property to attempt to determine what belongs to whom. Anyone who contacts police to claim property will be required to describe the item(s) and provide some sort of proof that it belongs to them. 

Officials said similar crimes have occurred in the City of Orrville as well.