The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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February 1, 2011

2 homeless men charged in break-in crime spree

ASHTABULA — Two homeless men have been charged in connection with nearly two dozen break-ins that netted the culprits thousands of dollars in cash and stolen property, according to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department.

Uriah Crislip, 36, has admitted forcing his way into the businesses during a spree that spanned most of January, deputies said. In most cases, Crislip — using a pry bar — forced open doors and then used the tool to crack open registers, vending machines, juke boxes and other cash-carrying containers, according to reports.

Also charged was Theodore Burdette, 36, another homeless man who apparently spends time in Ashtabula, deputies said. Burdette transported Crislip to many of the businesses and helped haul away some of the loot, according to reports.

The pair were arrested Thursday morning at the Downtown Motel in Ashtabula. Evidence was collected at the scene, deputies said. The suspects reportedly used cash to buy heroin, according to Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Van Robison.

The arrests occurred shortly after two back-to-back burglaries at Jewel’s Dance Hall in Austinburg Township and the Rare Cherry in Ashtabula Township. In the Jewel’s incident, the thieves hauled away an automatic teller machine that was abandoned at Indian Trails Park in Ashtabula Township. Cash was still inside the device, deputies said.

Grislip later admitted his involvement in many other business break-ins reported last month, including Capp’s Pizza, Sell It Again, Keystone Rehabilitation, Rent-A-Wreck, The Corner Bar, four area taverns, Ashtabula Appliance Service, Flowers Dunn Right, Before and After Hair Designs, Grand River Manor, Nail Creations and Club Agape, deputies said.

In the case of the Rent-A-Wreck theft, Grislip told deputies he used a hammer and chisel to break open a safe, according to reports.


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