The three suspects broke in at 12:58 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26, and quickly moved to smash the glass counter to steal smartphones and vape pens. Police have identified the suspects, noting that all three are juveniles reported as runaways who have been missing since April 6.
“They’re trying to survive on the streets on their own,” North Olmsted Police Department Detective Lt. Dan Barrett said. “They’re stealing items so they can sell online to their friends, whoever responds. They get cash, and this way they can continue to stay on the street on their own and survive.”
Wireless Express said $3,000 to $4,000 in damage was caused to the store, and more than $7,000 worth of items was stolen. The owner wants the suspects held accountable for their actions, the damage paid for and the items returned or paid for.
The store has moved quick to make repairs and is back open for business.
North Olmsted police have moved quickly to find two of the three suspects, recovered 68 of 100 vape pens and several cell phones, which were damaged or opened. One juvenile suspect remains at large.
“We missed him by minutes yesterday,” Barrett said. “He’s still out there. If he’s watching, or friends that see this and they know where he is at — have them call your local police department, or the North Olmsted Police Department, or convince him to come back home.”
North Olmsted City Schools resource officer Jim Carbone is familiar with the juveniles involved and wanted to let them know they will not give up on them.
“It just breaks our heart — and I speak for myself and for all of our officers here — that we would have kids that would go to the extent and be as gone as long as they have, to live on the streets, or find alternative places put their heads their heads down at night and not their homes,” Carbone said.
No charges have been filed against the suspects. Barrett said that will be up to the juvenile prosecutor’s office.