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Published: Saturday, 8/3/2002

Gum at crime scene puts bite on suspect

BY CHRISTINA HALL
BLADE STAFF WRITER

An unusual bowl, DNA from chewing gum, boots, and bonds.

Those are some of the items authorities used to seek an indictment against a Temperance man for three residential burglaries, one of which included an assault on an elderly female resident.

Keith B. Schultz, 36, who was being held in the Lucas County Jail, was indicted yesterday by a Lucas County grand jury on one count each of attempted murder and of aggravated burglary and two counts of burglary for incidents earlier this year in Toledo and Waterville.

He is accused of burglarizing and ransacking a Meteor Avenue residence Feb. 7 and assaulting the 84-year-old resident. He is accused of taking food, jewelry, money, and an unusual bowl, which was recovered at a residence in the 1700 block of Marlow Road. It was found in the kitchen under a sink, authorities said.

“[The victim] was strangled, beaten, and knocked unconscious. He threatened to kill her several times. This is a very dangerous individual,” Toledo police Sgt. Bob Baumgartner said.

The day before the attack, police believe the suspect broke into Virgil Baird's house on the Anthony Wayne Trail in Waterville and took more than $13,000 worth of items, only a few of which have been recovered.

He was linked to the alleged burglary through DNA found on a piece of pink chewing gum that was found in a rear bedroom, where the suspect entered the house. The crime lab at the Ohio Bureau of Identification and Investigation matched the DNA on the gum with the suspect's DNA, the sergeant said.

“I'm glad they got this guy,” said Mr. Baird, whose wedding ring and jewelry from his mother haven't been recovered.

Authorities also accuse Schultz of breaking into a Toledo firefighter's house in the 5000 block of Tappan Avenue between March 6 and 7. A new pair of boots, bonds, jewelry, and collectable coins were taken, and food was removed from the freezer and eaten at the residence.

Some items were found March 8, when police arrested Schultz. He was wearing the boots when he was arrested, and the bonds were found in a stolen van he allegedly was using, the sergeant said.

Sergeant Baumgartner said the investigation began when authorities noticed a pattern in which food was being eaten or taken during burglaries. He said Monroe County sheriff's Detective Tom Redmond contacted Toledo police after a sketch of the Meteor Avenue suspect appeared in the news. He said the suspect in the sketch looked like Schultz.

During the investigation, authorities learned a car stolen from Michigan was used in the Waterville burglary. They also learned that Schultz told jail informants that he had assaulted an elderly woman.

The sergeant said Schultz is on parole in Michigan, where he also is suspected of residential burglaries.

Schultz was convicted in October of receiving stolen property and was placed on community control for five years. In March, a grand jury indicted him on two counts of receiving stolen property. A trial on those charges is scheduled to begin Monday.

Blade staff writer Mark Reiter contributed to this report.



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