MEDINA — Smartphones are good at tracking movements, but for one man a cell phone may have tracked him so well it could lead him straight to jail.
Medina County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a 26-year-old Rittman man on one count of breaking and entering around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Detective Larry Covey said Seth Pasterchek is accused of breaking into hundreds of storage units in Medina, Wayne, Tuscarawas, Knox and Mahoning counties over the last eight months and stealing a slew of items, including firearms, coins, baseball cards, silverware, Beanie Babies, dishes, costume jewelry, watches, toys and more.
But what led police to Pasterchek?
After allegedly breaking into the Wadsworth Rittman Self-Storage, 10240 Rittman Road, Wadsworth, Pasterchek left his cell phone in one of the units, Covey said.
“He went back trying to find the phone,” the detective said.
But he couldn’t find it.
Instead, a victim found the phone that had slipped into a box and turned it over to police. Detectives tracked Pasterchek down using his cell phone, Covey said.
Mobile records provided an address and detectives began watching the home.
Rittman police pulled Pasterchek over for a traffic stop Tuesday and detectives arrested him.
Pasterchek admitted to detectives that he stole items from the storage units and sold them online, Covey said.
Many of the items were found in his house and car, police said.
“We’re still going through items,” Covey said. “It was drug-related.”
Covey said Pasterchek was charged with just one count to hold him in Medina County Jail, where he was Wednesday on a $15,000 bond.
Information will be presented to a Medina County grand jury, which could indict him on several counts.
Covey and Detective Keith Curtin lead the investigation.
The first break-in Pasterchek has been linked to occurred in October, Covey said.
There was a lull in activity for two or three months before it picked up again early in 2019.
Anyone that had storage units broken into is asked to call the detective bureau at (330) 725-9116.