July 29, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
63°F
test

Former city worker pleads no contest to thefts from Elyria

Nicholas Cerreto

Nicholas Cerreto

ELYRIA — The former city worker accused of stealing siren control systems that were supposed to be installed on Elyria police vehicles pleaded no contest Monday to charges of theft and theft in office.

The city discovered the missing equipment in June 2013, after Nicholas Cerreto, 34, already had resigned from his job as a communications technician.

Elyria police reported that other technicians noticed the components missing when they went to replace a broken siren system on a police car. The resulting investigation determined that Cerreto had been selling stolen city property on the Internet.

The Whelon Cencom Sapphire Siren Systems, valued at $625 each, were taken from a locked storage area in the Elyria maintenance garage. Cerreto was accused of stealing 30 systems.

A search of Cerreto’s LaGrange home turned up additional stolen equipment, according to police.

Defense attorney Mike Wilson said there was no sentencing agreement, and he expects prosecutors to push for a prison sentence in the case. But he said he believes Cerreto would be a good candidate for probation.

He also said there remains some dispute over the value of the city property Cerreto stole.

Wilson said authorities believe his client stole as much as $50,000 worth of property, but they were only able to prove he stole around $20,000 worth of items.

He said the exact amount of restitution still needs to be determined, although if the city was compensated by its insurance company, Cerreto will only be responsible for paying the deductible.

Cerreto had left his city job in May 2013 for a job with WEOL, a local AM radio station owned and operated by the same parent company as The Chronicle-Telegram.

He was fired from that job when the theft allegations against him surfaced.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

  • luvmytoaster

    Wow, so he steals $20K worth of stuff yet is only responsible for the deductible? (exact amount of restitution TBD).
    He should also be responsible for the increase in the insurance premiums that is sure to come.

    • Starryeyes63

      I believe the insurance company can go after him for amount they paid out in a civil suit.

  • Sis Delish

    From EPD to an affiliate of the C-T with equipment which conceivably could be used in any type of communications… “very interestink, but stupid”, from Laugh-in.

  • Mark B

    I wonder if he had a bad upbringing , it seems to work as a defense / excuse for most other criminals.

    • sandi

      No he didn’t.

  • GreatRedeemer

    So in the private sector he was fired after the theft allegations surfaced

  • Otter

    Once again, city (or even former) city employees are not held to the same standards as private sector employees.

  • Jeff Kidder

    Defense attorney Mike Wilson MUST be another liberal idiot in this county. Doesn’t that s—head know that insurance claims cause your insurance to go up. How old is this PUNK, 30? Grow the H_ll up idiot!