Shaker Heights police warn residents about series of break-ins and thefts

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio-- A surveillance camera was rolling inside a Shaker Heights apartment building as two men forced their way through a security door and then broke into an apartment.

Shaker Heights police say the video turned out to be crucial, because they believe the same two men are responsible for a string of break-ins that have residents on alert.

“Really frustrating and unnerving. I mean, I love my neighborhood,. I like to feel safe here. I love all my neighbors and it’s just really unnerving to know that’s even a possibility and we live in a world where that happens,” said Shaker Heights resident Jenn Zichelli.

The thieves are so bold that Monday’s break-in at the apartment building happened within a couple of hundred feet of the Shaker Heights Police Department.

Investigators say the same two crooks have also been stealing packages from porches, making it tougher for residents who have holiday gifts and other products delivered to their homes.

Jenn Zichelli told FOX 8, “It’s just really frustrating. I don’t want to spend my holidays in lines at the mall; I want to be able to save time and order things online and feel like I can leave them on my front doorstep and it’s okay.”

After Shaker Heights police posted the video of the apartment break-in on the department’s Facebook page, tipsters identified one of the suspects as 36-year-old Carl Edwin Deditch. Deditch was arrested late Wednesday night on Postal Road in Cleveland. Investigators believe he and his accomplice, who has not been identified, have been following delivery trucks and then stealing whatever packages they could.

Police say there are a number of things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of package thieves: They recommend having your parcels sent to a trusted location, like your workplace; picking up the packages at the shipping facility; or having neighbors who are home during the day hold the packages until you arrive home.