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Toledo police investigating break-ins at Toledo Public Schools' construction sites got a little help yesterday from the burglars themselves.
And the burglars didn't even know it.
Burglars broke into Libbey Middle School, which is under construction at Nebraska Avenue and Collingwood Boulevard, and took what they apparently thought were cameras.
What they really stole were two Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices that authorities later used to locate at least one of the suspects.
James W. Lewis, 20, of 744 Nebraska Ave., was charged yesterday with burglary and breaking and entering.
He was being held in the Lucas County jail pending arraignment today in Toledo Municipal Court.
Lt. David Schmidt said the suspect admitted to 29 break-ins at the middle school, 430 Nebraska Ave., and the Stewart Academy for Girls, 707 Avondale Ave., as well as a burglary at his grandfather's home.
The lieutenant said police also plan to charge a teenage boy in connection with at least one of the crimes.
Mr. Lewis was arrested after a break-in at Libbey Middle School that occurred between
1:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. yesterday.
Police and school district security personnel used the stolen GPS devices to track the burglary suspects to Mr. Lewis' address.
When police arrived, they activated the devices again and heard the alarms beeping inside the home.
Once they were allowed inside, police found the stolen devices and an extension cord taken from the school construction site.
Mr. Lewis was taken into custody without incident.
Police said property taken during the more than two dozen break-ins at Libbey Middle and Stewart Academy included items such as copper wire, copper pipes, construction equipment, power tools, and extension cords.
The break-ins investigation was a cooperative effort between police, school security, and the construction manager, said Patty Mazur, TPS spokesman.
Lieutenant Schmidt said the matter remains under investigation and more charges are pending.
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