November 27, 2014


Police credit neighbors for quick capture of break-in suspects


Elyria police officers leave a home on Hollywood Drive after searching for one of two teens who reportedly broke into a home on Salem Avenue. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Elyria police officers leave a home on Hollywood Drive after searching for one of two teens who reportedly broke into a home on Salem Avenue. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — A mother of four was alone in her house watching “The Wendy Williams Show” and waiting for her laundry to finish when she heard a noise Monday.

“I thought it was the construction down the road,” she said.

Then she heard the bedroom door open.

Only a few feet from where she was sitting in her living room, the woman saw a man standing in the hallway, dressed in a black-hooded sweatshirt and khaki pants, staring at her.

“I ran,” she said, adding that she was so nervous as she ran down her street in only her underwear and bright pink shirt that she couldn’t remember how to dial 911.

The incident began around noon in the 900 block of Salem Avenue in Elyria. The woman drove to her house after dropping her children off at school and picking up groceries. As she pulled into her driveway, she saw two men watching her from the street.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” the woman said, adding that she saw the same two men walk past her house twice as she sat inside with her dog.

Only moments later the men broke into her house through her bedroom window. When she ran from the house and called police, she watched one of the men escape through the same window and the other run eastbound down Salem Avenue.

Police charged Julius Wilson, 18, with burglary immediately following the incident.

The second suspect — 18 year-old Xavier Small — was seen walking around the neighborhood almost an hour after the break-in. Concerned neighbors reported him to the police, and Small was found hiding in a garage at 916 Salem Ave. He was charged with burglary.

This is Small’s second run-in with police in a week. He was charged with receiving stolen property last Wednesday after he and two friends were found driving a stolen car in Elyria with stolen items in the trunk.

For the woman whose house was broken into, the most stunning part of the situation is what the teens knew.

“They knew I was at home. What were their intentions?” she said, adding that she was so thankful her children were at school during the incident. Since Monday morning, she has secured her windows with locks and plans on getting a surveillance camera and a second dog, she said.

For police, the capture of both teens is because of the neighbors’ watchfulness.

“We couldn’t have caught (Small) with out (the neighbors’ help),” Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said.

Small is being held at Lorain County Jail on a $200,000 bond. His hearing is set for 9 a.m. today at Elyria Municipal Court.

The woman involved asked that her name not be used. The police report containing her name was not available, though in most cases, The Chronicle Telegram would include her name.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or

  • Bob Sweatt

    Second time in a week. UMMMM what’s wrong with this picture??

  • FoodForThought63

    Sometimes I think these kids want to get caught. At least in jail you get three hots and a cot. More than they might have right now.

  • Phil Blank

    Lot of good her dog was!

  • Mike Smeck

    If someone walks in my home, they better be prepared to be shot…End of story and the law is on my side…

    • boldlover

      there is no self-defense law in ohio… your back have to be in the corner in order to get away with it…

      • Mike Smeck

        Looks like you need to become educated – Look up “Castle Doctrine” in Ohio…

      • Mike Smeck

        Ohio’s passage of Senate Bill 184 on Sept. 9, 2008, and of Senate Bill 17 effective Sept. 30, 2011, marked numerous changes to the state’s self-defense laws and concealed carry laws, including adding provisions known as “castle laws,” which have also been enacted in 47 other states.

        Ohio law previously required the victim of a home
        invasion to retreat before using deadly force against the intruder; a person who used deadly force in such a situation had to prove in court that he or she acted out of fear of serious physical injury or death.

        Ohio’s self-defense laws now give homeowners more rights to protect themselves. In addition, S.B. 184 and S.B. 17 have loosened restrictions on concealed handgun license holders regarding carrying and renewal requirements.

        Q: If someone enters my home illegally, and I shoot her in
        self-defense, does S.B. 184 protect me from being arrested for
        protecting myself and my family?

        A: Generally, yes. Ohio’s “castle laws” presume you have acted in self defense or in defense of another when using deadly force against someone who has unlawfully entered your residence or vehicle. If you were to be charged, the
        prosecution would have to prove that the intruder did not enter your house or vehicle with the intent of causing harm.

        S.B. 184 also bars criminal offenders from recovering damages for injuries they receive from their victims while engaged in criminal conduct. You can now defend yourself in your home without worrying that your attacker will be able to recover for injuries incurred during the intrusion.

  • boldlover

    2nd time in a week and all hes going to get is a smack on the hand… give both of them the max sentance and im sure they can think of other thiongs to charge him with so maybe next time they will think twice about doing something so stupid…

  • Anonymous

    Instead of locks and cameras, maybe she should invest in a 12 gauge. Won’t have to worry about those punks breaking into your house anymore.

  • Carrie Watson

    I’m rather surprised that she’d sit around in her house in that state of undress after seeing those two guys staring at her like that. I’d be creeped out to the max and keep fully dressed. Good for her that she got away and they were arrested, though!