ELYRIA — An Elyria man was arrested after police say he stole all the recyclable metal from a church’s heating units in order to get money for heroin.
Craig Draper, 30, is charged with breaking and entering and drug abuse instruments.
Police were called to Glorious Apostolic Church on Foster Avenue about 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Church staff members told them that either late Sunday or early Monday someone had damaged the units.
The church’s surveillance video showed a man in a light-colored hooded sweatshirt with large lettering on it removing metal from the heating units and taking it to a wooded area near the church parking lot.
Police checked the wooded area but did not find the metal. They spoke with a person in the area who believed the man might be a man named Craig who lives on Spruce Street. Officers were familiar with Draper, so they went to his home.
Draper was not home, but his mother said that he had left the house for some unknown reason between 1 and 2 a.m. Monday. She said that yesterday she had driven Draper to a recycling center with what looked like a radiator and copper pipes but that the first recycling center turned him away, believing the items were stolen.
She said she then took him to a second recycling center, where he was successful in recycling the items.
According to the report, she asked him where he got the materials, and he replied “the people won’t miss it.”
Draper wasn’t home, but his mother agreed to call police when he returned.
Shortly after that, she called to tell police that he was home. Police arrived and Draper threw his arms up and said “I’m turning myself in,” the report said.
Officers patted Draper down and found a syringe of heroin in his pocket, the report said.
Draper admitted he stole the metal from the heating units because of his drug habit.
He said he sold the metal for $70, and he bought $60 of heroin and used the rest of the money for cigarettes and food.
Draper also admitted to another theft on Lowell Street near Elyria Concrete, where he took some vehicle rims, which he also recycled.
Police took the syringe and the Echo brand hooded sweatshirt Draper is seen wearing in the video as evidence.
Draper remains in the Lorain County Jail.