Wanted Man May Be Part of Larger Crime Spree

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Cleveland Clinic employees were warned of a man suspected of gaining access to facilities then committing thefts. (Courtesy: Cleveland Clinic)

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Clinic is warning its employees about a man who is making his way into buildings and stealing items like wallets and purses.

Investigators believe the thefts may be part of a larger crime spree.

This week, the Cleveland Clinic sent out a notice to employees, warning them of a rash of thefts at three of its campuses in Northeast Ohio.  None of them involved the main campus.

“He’s getting into the offices and he’s checking wallets, but I think they’re doing a good job in letting us know now to look out for him, and you just always have to be careful and be checking and asking people who they are and why they’re there,” said one Clinic employee.

The notice included various surveillance photos of the suspect.

According to police reports, three people reported that their wallets, purses or credit cards had been stolen from offices at the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon.

Two happened on Tuesday, and the third on Wednesday.

“We like to make sure that we’re aware of any strangers that may come into our building,” said another employee.

According to Cleveland Clinic police, the suspect is dressed to look like he is an employee, wearing a polo shirt, khaki pants, and is usually wearing glasses.

They say he wears a badge tucked into his shirt, making it look like he has a valid ID.

They also say he may carry a dark-colored portfolio.

“When you see somebody who looks like one of us, is one of our employees, it really makes you try to pay more attention and be more aware,” the employee said.

A spokeswoman for the Clinic would not be specific, but she said that this man is suspected of committing thefts in offices across Northeast Ohio and other parts of the state and not just involving Cleveland Clinic locations.

Cleveland Clinic police said the suspect gets into the buildings by waiting by the door until someone comes and opens it.

They say he is friendly and engaging and usually strikes around lunchtime or early afternoon.

“I always make sure that I have anything that I have of value locked up, so it’s not been a real concern for myself,” one of the employees added.

“I would ask people who they are, if their badge isn’t showing and I would keep my office locked,” said another employee.

The Clinic said most of the incidents happened in administrative areas and not where patients are.

The notice also states that the suspect may have women helping him, who wait outside in a getaway vehicle, which may be a newer white or gray Cadillac.