Suspect Is Arrested in the 'Lost Pet' Burglaries
Paul Shimelonis, of Mentor, is accused of breaking into and stealing from seven houses in the city
Mentor Police have arrested the man who they think was using a fictitious lost pet to scope out houses he could steal from.
Seven houses had been broken into since April 12 in the city, police said. The burglaries often were foreshadowed by a man who knocked on doors in the neighborhood, claiming he's looking for his dog or cat, Mentor Police Lt. Ken Gunsch said.
On Wednesday, a woman called police and said a man was doing the same thing on Seaton Place. Officers came to the area and spotted a black car parked on Forestview Avenue.
The car was similar to the one spotted at other recent burglaries, Mentor Police Capt. Kevin Knight said.
The officers waited and saw Paul Shimelonis, 31, of Mentor, come from between houses on the neighborhood and approach the car, Knight said.
Police arrested Shimelonis and charged him with seven counts of burglary and seven counts of possession of criminal tools. The "criminal tools" in this case refer to credit cards that Shimelonis is accused of using to jimmy doors, according to court records.
Knight said that Shimelonis broke into houses and stole jewelry and small electronics that he sold to pawn shops. Police have recovered some of those items, he said.
Shimelonis was arraigned this morning in Mentor Municipal Court. Judge John Trebets set his bond at $280,000, which Shimelonis did not post.
If convicted, Shimelonis could spend between two and eight years in prison for each burglary charge.