NORTH RIDGEVILLE -- Detective work and persistence paid off as the North Ridgeville police made an arrest and may have solved 18 recent burglaries.
Police have a man in custody in connection with a rash of night-time burglaries in North Ridgeville since Aug. 16 and as well as burglaries in Elyria, Avon and other Lorain County townships.
Police arrested Nicholas Pelfrey, 28, of Elyria, about 6:30 a.m. Friday at his home. Investigators say they found cash and other evidence linking Pelfrey to other burglaries.
Pelfrey has been charged with one count each of theft and burglary. Both charges are felonies.
Here is how the arrest unfolded.
The detective bureau had developed a suspect and vehicle description on Oct. 4, which was handed out to the officers on road patrol.
About 1 a.m., an officer spotted a suspicious blue minivan parked on Hardwood Drive, a residential development off Island Road.
A 33-year-old North Ridgeville woman inside the van told police it had broken down.
About 10 minutes later, while the officer was still with the woman, a Hardwood Drive resident called 911 to report a burglar had just broken into the family's house.
The burglar cut a first-floor window screen to get inside. One of the residents woke up after hearing the burglar's footsteps.
The burglar rummaged through a purse, the kitchen, and an office area and fled on foot with items stolen from the home.
"Officers, who were already in the area due to the earlier traffic stop, set up a perimeter," police Capt. Marti Garrow said in a written statement.
Police brought in a K-9 officer and launched an extensive search with assistance from the Avon Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The search was called off about 4 a.m.
But police detectives developed information leading them to Pelfrey's residence.
"Pelfrey is believed to be responsible for approximately 18 nighttime burglaries occurring in our city since Aug. 16, 2012," Garrow said.
"He is also suspected of committing nighttime burglaries in Elyria, Avon and surrounding townships."