By Joe Gorman
Neighbors helped police to catch three men breaking into two homes in separate parts of tow n Sunday.
Officers were called about 11:25 p.m. to the North Side after a woman said she saw someone break into her home in the 1300 block of Elm Street while she was at a friend’s watching television.
When police arrived, they were told by the woman and others that one of the men was hiding in a nearby patch of trees and bushes, and when police walked that way, a man jumped up and began running away, reports said.
Police called for more cars to form a perimeter and spotted a man in a backyard of a home in the 1200 block of Woodbine. When the man saw police, he ran again, only to be caught in the driveway. He was identified as Jayrond Mitchell of Zents Avenue.
Next to Mitchell was a computer mouse and a cellphone, reports said, and other witnesses said they saw two men walking out of the Elm Street home just before police were called. Mitchell was arrested on charges of burglary and obstructing official business and taken to the Mahoning County jail.
About 12 hours earlier, on the West Side, police were called to a home at 68 S. Maryland Ave. about 11:45 a.m. by neighbors who saw two men climb in a window of a house where no one was home. When police arrived, they found a broken window and entered the home. They encountered Ernest Rayford, 30, inside and took him into custody.
Officers searched the rest of the home and found another man, Richard Rayford, 28, who was hiding under a pile of dirty clothes.
Reports said there were copper pipes that were cut loose and there was water in the basement and in some of the other rooms in the home where water pipes were.
They both were arrested and taken to the jail.