Suspect sought in string of Akron lawn decoration thefts

AKRON, Ohio-- An arrest warrant has been issued for a suspect in a string of thefts that have plagued homeowners in several Akron neighborhoods this summer.

Investigators said 39-year-old Olivia Collier Lemon allegedly stole dozens of lawn decorations and ornaments, and then sold them on social media websites.

In the latest crime, surveillance cameras were rolling outside a home in the city’s North Hill neighborhood. A woman approached a home and tried to steal a gargoyle from the front porch. The statue was too heavy and she ended up dropping the statue and falling on her behind, before retreating to a getaway vehicle.

"I had to laugh because I think when she picked that up, I thought she was going to walk off real quick with that. But that one looked like it was a little too heavy for her. It was funny," Akron resident Rodney Stone said.

Stone said he suspects she is the same crook who walked into his yard in the Kenmore neighborhood early one morning and took a statue of an angel. The angel was a memorial to his son, who died in 2004 of a rare form of cancer.

A family, who unknowingly purchased the stolen angel, turned it over to FOX 8 and we transported it back to Akron.

"It's about time to quit. It's about time to give it up, too many people out here with cameras so you might get away with one or two here, but you're going to get caught with a camera somewhere down the line," Stone said.

Since the thief and her getaway driver have been on their crime spree, Akron residents have taken steps to secure their lawn ornaments.

The gargoyle in North Hill is now bound with a rope tied to the railing on the victim's porch. Stone loaded the inside of his angel with concrete and used a steel cable to attach the statue to a flag pole.

"It's a shame that you have to do it, but you know the only way you're going to keep something like that is, you know, with your cameras, tie them down or make sure you buy something that they can't carry off," Stone said.

Investigators said the warrant for Collier Lemon is based on the surveillance video of the various crimes and statements from customers, who unwittingly purchased the stolen items.

So far, the driver of the getaway vehicle shown in the videos has not been charged.

"Now, what's going to happen? Are they going to slap them on the wrist or are they going to try and make an example of something?" Stone said.