Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Amherst – Police in Amherst have arrested an Elyria man, Kenneth R. Messer of Phillips Court, for Safe Cracking, Grand Theft, Breaking & Entering (B&E), Possession of Criminal Tools, Tampering with Coin Machines and Vandalism.

On October 21st, the Amherst Police Department received a complaint of a Breaking and Entering at the American Legion Post located at 921 North Lake St. The break in was discovered by a cleaning person. During the investigation it was discovered that suspects had made entry into the business and used heavy prying bars to enter one safe and attempted to enter another safe. Police say the suspects also entered the Juke Box and cigarette machine, as well as cash registers. Several thousand dollars were reported missing as well as several thousands of dollars in damage done to the business.

The Amherst Police Department Detective Bureau along with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations processed the scene for evidence.

The following day, it was discovered that an alert Amherst Police Officer, who was on duty the evening of the B&E, observed an unoccupied van parked on the entrance ramp to Route 2 eastbound around 3:00 AM. The van appeared to be broken down. The Officer ran the license plate and continued his patrol. The following day that information was relayed to the detective bureau as possibly being involved in the B&E. A detective had prior knowledge (and photo) of a van that was used in a previous B&E of the Amvets Post in Elyria in August of 2009 which is being investigated by the Lorain County Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau. The Officer was able to recall details of the van on the entrance ramp which matched the suspect van from Amvets.

The owner of the van also had an extensive criminal history. The Detective Bureau followed up with that information and located the van on Phillips Ct in Elyria. After comparing the van on Phillips Ct. to photos from the B&E of the Amvets Post, a search warrant was obtained for the van and the residence.

On October 22nd, Officers from Amherst Police, Elyria Police, and the Sheriff’s Office executed the search warrant on 17 Phillips Ct. Additional evidence was obtained from the residence and interior of the van.

Messer was held without bond until his arraigned in Oberlin Municipal Court on October 27th. He was found to be indigent and assigned an Attorney and was bonded out at $7.500.00.

Police say there have been several social clubs in Lorain and Erie counties that have been broken into during the past several months. The Amherst Police Department is working with those other agencies and the investigations remain ongoing. Anyone with information on any of the social club burglaries are encouraged to contact their local police agencies.


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