The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 17, 2013

Five individuals caught after posting video of Spire break-in on YouTube

Staff Writer

JEFFERSON — Five people found themselves in deep water after they broke into Spire Institute for a late-night swim and posted a video of the incident on YouTube.

The suspects were issued a summons to appear in court  July 25  on criminal trespass charges, according to the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department.

Management at Spire received an anonymous tip of a YouTube video of several subjects swimming in Spire’s pool after the facility was closed. The video showed two males and two females in the pool drinking alcoholic beverages, according to reports.

The anonymous person reporting the incident identified the two females as recent graduates of Edgewood Senior High School. When deputies compared the video with their Bureau of Motor Vehicle photos, they were a positive match, according to reports.

There were no signs of forced entry, which led officials to believe the individuals had a key to access the building; however, management said no one had permission to access the building after hours, according to reports.

Deputies made contact with one of the female suspects and she admitted to going to Spire with the other four suspects to swim. She said it was the first time she had been to Spire after hours to swim, but one of the male suspects knew how to get in the building and had been there several times before, according to reports.

The female suspect told deputies she was nervous about being there after hours and afraid of getting in trouble so they only stayed for about an hour, according to reports.

Deputies contacted one of the male suspects and the other female suspect about the incident. The male suspect told deputies he was walking around outside Spire one night admiring the building and discovered only a piece of wood was covering an entrance which led to the pool building. He admitted to being in the pool building the night the photos were taken and put on live feed as well as several other times, according to reports.

After Spire management and the owner met with the individuals and some of their parents, Spire officials told deputies they no longer wished to pursue charges; however, because of the amount of work already put into investigating the incident, the deputy charged each of the individuals with one count of criminal trespass, according to reports.