Camera aims to deter furnace thiefs


Toledo police have posted a “sky cops” video camera near houses under construction on Delaware Avenue and Machen Street where several furnaces were stolen before Christmas.

Sgt. Joe Heffernan, police spokesman, said the camera mounted on a portable trailer is expected to deter further thefts at the Cherry Legacy Homes, a development of 40 new houses along Delaware Avenue and Machen Street that is part of a $7.1 million federal affordable-housing project to be completed in the spring.

The Douglas Co. reported thefts at 335, 341, and 347 W. Delaware and 342, 348, and 352 Machen St. on Dec. 24. Reported stolen were six Rimual Ru80 furnaces valued at $1,500 each and four First Air air handlers valued at $2,000 each.

Early the day before, police had arrested Darius James, 38, of 2701 Northwood Ave., whom they later connected with one of those break-ins. He pleaded no contest on Dec. 30 in Toledo Municipal Court to a reduced charge of criminal trespass, was found guilty, and sentenced to time already served.

A second man, a 20-year-old accused of being a lookout, pleaded no contest but was acquitted by a judge.

Sergeant Heffernan said the builder plans to delay installing any more new furnaces until the houses are needed by occupants. None of the stolen equipment has been recovered.