December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Duo charged with trashing, stealing from Elyria rental property

An Elyria Police officer photographs evidence after a woman was arrested for taking a hot water heater and pipes from a residence she was living in. The woman was stopped on Barres Lane in Elyria where she was with another person pulling the wagon full of metal. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

An Elyria Police officer photographs evidence after a woman was arrested for taking a hot water heater and pipes from a residence she was living in. The woman was stopped on Barres Lane in Elyria, where she was with another person pulling the wagon full of metal. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — When Rodney Young arrived at Barres Lane on Thursday to pick up the remainder of the items at his house, he found a battered water heater and a few pipes in a wagon.

Leon Winans

Leon Winans

Amanda Gerber

Amanda Gerber

“I feel like crying,” Young said, explaining how everything — including appliances and pipes — had been stolen from one of the homes he rents out. “I’m going to board it up.”

Amanda Gerber, 22, and Leon Winans, 29, were charged with theft early Thursday afternoon near Barres Lane and West Avenue after a witness saw them pulling a water heater and some pipes in a small wagon.

When Young and his friend Susan Bond arrived at Barres Lane, the two already had been arrested. Almost all the appliances and some additional items were missing from the house, which Young rented out, including a refrigerator, stove, washer, dryer and an air conditioner.

For Young, Thursday’s thefts are the latest in a series of similar events.

For the past four years, Young owned and rented out a house on 434 East Ave., Elyria, and had very few tenant issues. The problems started in June when Gerber began staying with friends in the house, Young said. When the friends left, Gerber continued to stay there with her children without having a lease or paying rent.

An Elyria police officer takes theft suspect Amanda Gerber into custody Thursday in Elyria.

An Elyria police officer takes theft suspect Amanda Gerber into custody Thursday in Elyria.

Young said at first he was hesitant to evict Gerber because she had young children. However, over the following months, when Gerber and her visitors broke plates, made holes in the walls and littered the area with cigarettes, Young decided to try eviction.

Maria Georgievski, executive director of Lake Erie Landlord Association, said the eviction process can be a long one. A landlord must file for eviction, which could take three weeks and, if a magistrate decides to grant the eviction, a tenant is then given a time frame in which to move out.

As Young began the eviction process, appliances and other items began to go missing from the house, he said.

Both Blue Star and Elyria Recycling have recorded transactions from Gerber over the past few months, according to the police report.

Now, with an empty, messy home, Young said he has few choices but to board up the place.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.