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A Tallmadge man and an Akron woman were arrested March 5 for allegedly breaking into multiple buildings at the Summit County Fairgrounds, 229 E. Howe Road, and stealing approximately $1,500 worth of tools.
Tallmadge Police Chief Ron Williams says a witness observed the pair cutting a fence with bolt cutters about 8:15 a.m. and summoned officers. Responding police apprehended the two on an adjacent wooded property after a short foot chase, according to Williams. Nearby, he says, were two piles of tools and equipment hidden under a black tarp. "There was a fresh wheelbarrow track leading from the fairgrounds to the concealed property, along with footprints matching Small's shoes," the police chief says. Upon investigation, Tallmadge police ascertained that "numerous buildings" at the fairgrounds had been broken into.
Michael Small, 51 of Tallmadge, has been charged with breaking and entering, theft, possession of criminal tools and criminal trespass. Angela Hoefel, 39 of Akron, has been charged with breaking and entering, theft, possession of criminal tools and criminal trespass, along with falsification, for initially giving officers a false name. Officers learned Hoefel had an active warrant for her arrest for a felony through the Portage County Sheriff's Office, so she was turned over to that agency.
At press time March 8, a spokesperson for the Summit County Common Pleas Court said Small had not yet been arraigned on the charges. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Portage County Common Pleas Court said Hoefel was sentenced on March 7 to 71 days in jail on an earlier burglary charge, with 61 days credit given. The spokesperson for the Summit County Common Pleas Court said that court had not yet received the Summit County case against Hoefel.
Twitter: @ EllinWalsh_RPC