Thursday, December 12 2013 11:47 PM EST2013-12-13 04:47:22 GMT
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WATERVILLE TOWNSHIP, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Police have recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen items and believe one man is responsible. Officials say he took everything from power tools and electronics, to wallets and paychecks.
Sgt. Michael Wilkinson said Walter Polus is suspected of breaking into as many as three homes in the township, which occurred between Feb. 3 and 4. Police believe Polus could possibly be tied to more break-ins countywide, as well as in Lucas, Wood and Ottawa counties.
"[I feel] very scared, very violated. I just can't believe that someone would come into our home while we were sleeping and took that stuff," said one victim.
Officers recovered thousands of dollars in stolen property, including electronics, tools, purses and wallets. These items can be sold easier on sales sites, such as Craigslist.
"He'd come into the garage, walk into the house, take whatever he could really close to the door and take off," said Wilkinson.
It's what he did next that led officials right to him.
"Shortly after the burglaries, he started using the victims' credit cards and debit cards at the banks, trying to get money out and making purchases," said Wilkinson.
His face was caught on surveillance cameras so police posted photos on Facebook and immediately, someone who had bought an item from him on Craigslist tipped off police.
Polus was picked up around 5 p.m. Wednesday when police set up a fake meeting, saying they wanted to buy some of the items he had posted online. They then executed a search warrant at his home.
"It feels good. It was a team effort. Everyone on our department worked hard on it. The sheriff's department, neighborhood agencies - we worked together and we got it done quickly," said Wilkinson.
Polus was taken to the Lucas County Jail. He was arraigned Thursday on three counts of burglary, each a second-degree felony. He also had several active warrants.
One victim is glad she will get her belongings back, but is equally happy there has been an arrest.
"I'm very much relieved that they have him in custody, and hopefully enough evidence to put him away for a little while," said the victim.
Officials are still trying to match all of the stolen property with the rightful owner. If you believe any of the items are yours, call 419-213-4926.