ELYRIA — The burglars who robbed the home of Elyria resident Scott Kanuch probably didn’t realize just whom they were robbing. Kanuch wants to make sure they — or any others who may think about targeting his home in the future — don’t forget.
After Kanuch’s home was burglarized in February, and following a rash of burglaries in the area, Kanuch decided to show the Elyria Police Department and the community he was fed up with the crime wave in the city.
He spent $100 to purchase a sign that reads, “Wanted Dead or Alive. The Thieves that Robbed My Home. Cash Reward.”
Kanuch said he isn’t kidding, either.
“The thieves need to know that the homeowners are fed up,” he said, adding that the money was well spent.
Kanuch’s home was burglarized in February while he was on vacation. The suspects stole $40,000 worth of collectible Zippo cigarette lighters, railroad locks, vintage pocket watches, guns and even a large grandfather clock.
That would be bad enough, he said, but the thieves also ransacked his home, breaking everything they didn’t take.
Lt. Chris Costantino said he understands Kanuch’s frustration, but he advised that Kanuch shouldn’t take any action without the help of law enforcement.
“People have a right to say things, but we never encourage people to take the law into their own hands,” he said.
Costantino did acknowledge that burglaries are a problem in the area.
Within the past two weeks, more than 30 burglaries were reported in the city, according to Elyria incident reports.
Costantino said the crimes are often ones of opportunity, with the suspects entering unlocked doors or windows of homes and grabbing purses or other items in view.
On Monday, the North Ridgeville Police Department arrested four teenagers, two of whom are from Elyria, who are believed to have been involved with burglaries in the North Ridgeville area. Costantino would not say whether police believe the teens are responsible for some of the burglaries in Elyria, but he said the Elyria Police Department is working closely with North Ridgeville police.
Costantino recommended that residents report any suspicious activity when it is occurring, making sure to give the police an accurate description of the suspect and, if relevant, the license plate number.
“We have to (investigate). That’s our job,” he said.
Kanuch said he’s already screwed his windows shut and installed an alarm system. The thieves won’t be getting inside again, he said.
He reflected on living in Elyria 50 years ago — when he said he could hunt across the street and before the drug problems that now riddle the city.
“It never used to be like this,” he said.
Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.