December 21, 2014

Elyria
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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 amerriman@chroniclet.com.