By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
It was a very busy three hours.
After allegedly abandoning a stolen van in favor of a stolen car, a west end man was captured by Toledo police yesterday afternoon while he was in a home he had broken into near Ottawa Park, authorities said.
The saga began about noon when security guards at the Southwyck Shopping Center, 2040 South Reynolds Rd., noticed a young man making large purchases with a credit card. The guards – who were off-duty Toledo police officers – caught up to the man in the mall’s parking lot, where he was sitting inside a blue van, Detective John Wirth said.
The officers asked him to get out of the van and began questioning him. The man gave what turned out to be a false name, but one of the officers spotted an identification card with his real name hanging out of one of the man’s pockets, which also held a screwdriver. At that moment, the man ran across the parking lot and across Reynolds Road. The officers pursued, but lost him between buildings on Reynolds, Detective Wirth said.
The officers alerted their on-duty colleagues, and checked the van. They found that it had been reported stolen in Monroe on Jan. 17. At the time of that theft, the van had been “replaced” with a Cadillac that had been stolen earlier in Taylor, Mich., the detective said.
Shortly after the man fled from the mall, police received a report that a car had been stolen from the parking lot of a nearby Kroger store, 5109 Glendale Ave.
Having seen the man’s ID card, they knew his address, so police crews were sent to his neighborhood to search for him and the stolen car, Detective Wirth said.
About 2:50 p.m., while searching, police received a report of a burglary in progress at 1918 Evansdale Ave. – two blocks from where the man lived.
Officers found the car stolen from Kroger backed up to the house, with a TV set from the house in the backseat, the detective said.
Three hours after the first confrontation at the mall, police apprehended Hiram J. Beasley, 19, of 1920 Alvin St., in the house. The rear door had been pried open with a screwdriver, Detective Wirth said.
Meanwhile, back at the mall, police found stolen property in the abandoned van – jewelry, phones, and CDs – taken from a burglary reported Friday at 1914 Evansdale Ave.
Mr. Beasley’s shoeprints matched those left at that burglary, Detective Wirth said.
Mr. Beasley was being held last night in the Lucas County jail on two counts of burglary, two counts of receiving stolen property, and one count of possessing criminal tools.
There have been at least eight other burglaries in the neighborhood in the last three weeks, and Detective Wirth said police are continuing their investigation.