Police: Car Break-In Suspect ‘Not Easily Deterred’

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MENTOR, Ohio -- There have been a rash of smash and grab car break-ins in one Lake County city, and the thief does not seem easily deterred.

There have been seven vehicles broken into in Mentor just this weekend.

Mentor police Lt. Mike Majernik said the thief is looking for anything valuable left in the parked vehicles.

“He’s peeking in vehicles. If he sees a bag or something of value, he actually is breaking the window,” Majernik said.

All the break-ins have occurred in the parking lots of restaurants on the south side of Mentor around dinner time. And, the thief is looking for anything he can take.

"We've had bags, computer bags, purses, wallets; even a bowling ball bag was taken," Majernik said.

Shayla Davis, of Madison, was going into a Mentor restaurant when Fox 8 News Reporter Maria Scali told her about the break-ins.

“I was actually going to leave my purse in the car until you just told me that there had been break-ins. I am really shocked. But, I guess I shouldn't be doing that. I don't want my car windows smashed in,” Davis said.

P.J. Esposito is a regular at the Hooley House Restaurant. Three cars were reported broken into there Saturday night.

"It's shocking to me that that would happen here, especially since I live down the road.  It kind of scares me a little bit, actually," Esposito added.

Police are encouraging people to keep all valuable items out of sight, preferably locked in the trunk of the car.

"He got spooked by one guy at a restaurant, but he continued on his spree.  So, he's not being deterred,” said Majernik.

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