Lindsey Collins, 30, and Brian M. White, 25, both were arrested and charged with theft following a break-in at Mercy Regional Hospital on Friday morning. White, of Parma, was free on bond and information on his next court date was unavailable. Collins, who is homeless, was being held at the Lorain County Jail on Monday night in lieu of a $40,000 bond.
A surveillance video of the break-in showed Collins entering the employee locker room and stealing a ring of keys out of an employee’s purse while White waited outside. Collins and White used the lock button on the keys to find the car – a Ford Edge – in the parking lot. After watching the video, Lorain police Detective Orlando Colon said that police recognized Collins from a series of thefts she committed around Lorain on Wednesday.
Police found Collins around 11 a.m. walking down Leavitt Road and charged her with car theft as well as the Wednesday thefts, to which she confessed. Collins also identified White as her accomplice in the car theft at Mercy.
White was charged the same day for a separate theft at Kohl’s at 11:42 a.m. Neither Collins nor White had the car when they were arrested. The car was found around 9 a.m. in Elyria, crashed near Church of the Open Door on West Ridge Road. Police were told by witnesses that four boys driving the car had fled on foot.
Lorain County sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene and they saw four teens matching the description of the boys riding bicycles.
Sheriff’s Lt. Donald Barker said the boys drove over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, which cross West Ridge Road, and fled into the woods. After setting up a perimeter and searching for the teenagers in the woods, deputies found two of the boys near state Route 113 and charged them with obstruction of official business and criminal trespassing for crossing the railroad tracks.
The other two boys were seen riding into a barn and deputies found the two teenagers hiding in a pickup. Both boys were charged with obstruction of official business and breaking and entering for hiding in the barn.
As for the connection between the teenagers and Collins and White, Colon said he believes that drug use is involved.
Lorain police are conducting an investigation into Collins’ series of thefts last week, which ended with the stolen car Friday.
Reporter Evan Goodenow contributed to this story.