YPD arrests homeless man suspected of cooking, showering in homes after breaking in


YOUNGSTOWN

Police say Jacob Merchant is the kind of burglar who not only takes things, but he brings things too.

He brings things such as his own food, which he cooks in houses that he breaks into before availing himself of the facilities to shower before he leaves, authorities say.

Merchant, 33, who police say is homeless, is charged with three counts of burglary and two counts of breaking and entering. He’s accused in a series of incidents on the South Side that began Jan. 16 and culminated Wednesday morning with a burglary at a home in the first block of East Lucius Avenue.

Merchant, who was arrested by Detective Sgts. Ronald Rodway and Michael Cox Thursday after tips from the patrol division.

Rodway. who has been with the department more than 30 years and has investigated at least 150 homicides plus a score of other grisly crimes, said the case is one of the most bizarre he has had.

He was in her house for over four hours, they said.

The woman came home from work at about 12:15 a.m. and found her kitchen ransacked, food all over and her stove used.

She heard running water upstairs and went to check and found Merchant in her shower, reports said.

Read more about this and other incidents police believe Merchant is involved in in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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