At the turn of the year, Sylvania Township police noticed a disturbing trend.

There had been burglaries occurring to homes in the area of Sylvania Avenue and McCord Road.

Police Chief Paul Long said he determined the department should flood the area with unmarked cars with the idea of keeping eyes open for any unusual activity. He said he knew from experience that the tactic isn’t always successful, but determined that it was worth a try.

On Jan. 9, the second night of the operation, police saw a man walking from the commercial area of that intersection and eventually into a subdivision looking at houses.

“He would sometimes walk up toward a house sometimes, but then walk away.”

Eventually he went between houses and to the rear.

“Officers at the scene didn’t want to lose sight of  him. You don’t know where he might go or what he might do, so they decided it was time to get him.  One of the officers moved quietly, but he must have been heard, because the guy took off. from a rear porch and over a backyard fence, but he was surrounded and was eventually caught trying to get over another fence.”

There was a struggle, but he was quickly under control and arrested.

The man was carrying a flashlight and long screwdriver. Using his key fob police located the car he had driven to the area. They also obtained a search warrant for his apartment and for another vehicle.

Several items were recovered.

“We’ve already been able to return a lot of the stolen property to the victims of the most recent burglaries. We also got a handgun stolen in a burglary in Toledo.”

The investigation is continuing, the chief said, but currently the suspect is going to be charged with at least  5 township burglaries and 2 in Toledo. He added that a charge of felon in possession of a firearm has been referred to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“They come down hard on that,” he added.

The suspect is Robert Winston, 58, of 3611 Douglas Rd.

The chief said Winston has 7 previous felony convictions, including burglary, robbery and aggravated trafficking, dating back to 1978.


Written By: Mike Jones, Public Information Officer

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