Neighbors speak out after burglars hit home of Cleveland officer arrested for trying to kidnap young girl

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CLEVELAND -- Investigators are trying to determine if a burglary at the home of an indicted Cleveland police officer is a crime of opportunity or something more.

Patrol Officer Solomon Nhiwatiwa was charged with attempted kidnapping, among other charges, and is accused of exposing himself to a 12-year-old girl.

"I seen him riding out the driveway, with the two bags and the bookbag. I was like, 'He done broke in that man's house,' but my neighbor had already called the police," said one of Nhiwatiwa’s neighbors.

Residents of Cleveland's East 118th Street say they were surprised to see someone walking in and around Nhiwatiwa’s home around 10:00 a.m. Thursday.

"I saw a person walking by in the kitchen and I knew the person that was there, lived there, wasn't there, so that's when I called the police," said another neighbor.

Nhiwatiwa is behind bars, facing eight charges.

He is accused of trying to entice a 12-year-old girl into his SUV, while she waited for her school bus on Euclid Avenue last Friday morning.
He is also accused of exposing himself and urinating on her as well.

"To me, he didn't seem like he would be that type of individual. But, who knows what a person will do or what a person won't do," said a neighbor, adding that she noticed nothing unusual about him.

When officers responded to the burglary call, no one was there.

According to Cleveland police, items taken from the home include [graphic] guns, ammunition, knives, a computer hard drive and flash drive, a cell phone and computer tablet.

Officers found a duffel bag that contained some of the items, not far from the home.

Neighbors say Nhiwatiwa stayed to himself and did not mingle much with neighbors.

"He was really, really quiet," said one of the neighbors."Sometime last year he moved in there, but he didn't talk, he didn't never say, not a word to me."

"It's just too bad that you know, they get people in those kinds of positions and they do those things…If it's true, then yes, you are a disgrace," said another person who lives on the street.

No one has been arrested for the burglary.

Nhiwatiwa, who was hired by Cleveland police in 2014, is suspended without pay during the investigation.  He is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning.

Continuing coverage, here.

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