December 19, 2014

Elyria
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Man arrested in connection with string of car break-ins

Charles Cummings

Charles Cummings

Mark Streets

Mark Streets

ELYRIA – A man who police suspect of breaking into over 100 cars in a month was caught last week when police say he broke into a house in Elyria.

Mark Streets, 40, was charged with assault on a police officer, obstruction of official business, receiving stolen property and burglary after being arrested at about 10:30 a.m. Friday at the intersection of Holly Lane and East Avenue. Charles Cummings, 31, was also charged with burglary.

Police started looking for the men on Thursday after a resident on the 700 block of East Avenue told police they saw two men – later identified as Streets and Cummings – going into their neighbor’s house. According to police, no one was in the house at the time and the men had gotten in through a window.

On Friday morning, police found Streets and Cummings walking around the intersection of Holly Lane and East Avenue. According to Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino, Streets has been charged with burglary in the past, and since the police department has been watching him for a while, they were able to quickly identify him.

When they met up with Streets and Cummings, Streets gave a fake name and took off running, hitting an officer in the neck with his elbow as he tried to escape, Costantino said. Cummings also tried to run but police were able to catch up with both men quickly. Cummings was carrying a backpack with knives and items the men had taken from the house on East Avenue inside, according to Costantino.

In questioning, Streets admitted to breaking into 100 cars in the past month, Costantino said.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” Costantino said, adding that many car thieves look for unlocked cars to steal from, rather than breaking into cars using force. Costantino said it’s a good idea for drivers to keep their doors locked if possible.

Streets and Cummings were taken to Lorain County Jail, where they were being held on Tuesday. Streets was being held on a $400,000 bond until his court date at 1 p.m. April 21 at Elyria Municipal Court. Cummings was being held on a $165,000 bond.

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