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That was not Santa on roof of building

November 28, 2012
By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

EAST LIVERPOOL - A McKee Street man was arrested early Tuesday morning after an observant police officer reportedly found him inside a closed St. Clair Avenue business.

Officers were called to the Wash N Dry Laundromat at 1:34 a.m. for what sounded like pounding inside, but after finding the building secure, no doors unlocked or windows broken and no one around, they cleared the scene.

About five minutes later, Patrolman Kelsey Hedrick decided to drive by again with his cruiser lights off and saw a man inside, dressed in dark clothing and wearing a mask.

Thinking the man must have gone in the side door, Hedrick ran back there but found it still locked. He ran around and looked in the window and no longer saw the man but saw broken light bulbs on the floor and thought of the roof.

He ran around to the rear of the building and found the man - later identified as Randy S. Ammon, 37 - on the roof, and ordered him down at gunpoint. Ammon backed out of sight while other officers, including those from St. Clair Township, arrived on the scene and began covering all parts of the building's exterior.

Ammon then surrendered to officers and climbed down a tree at the rear of the building and was taken into custody.

According to police, he was wearing gloves and had a toboggan hat with a headlight attached stuffed down the front of his pants. They also reported finding a hammer laying on the ground where he had climbed down.

The fire department responded with a ladder truck to allow Hedrick access to the roof to check for anyone else, but no one was found, although a large hole was found and believed to be Ammon's point of entry.

Once the owner arrived, he allowed officers inside, where they found a screwdriver sticking out of the change machine, a spud bar leaning against a washing machine and a piece of wood used for smashing out the lights laying on the floor.

Hinge pins had been removed from an interior door to gain entry once inside the building, according to police.

Ammon was charged with felony breaking and entering, with additional charges of possessing criminal tools possibly to be served through the grand jury.

Chief John Lane commended Hedrick for the arrest, saying, "He did an excellent job" by being diligent and returning to the business to check it again.

Ammon appeared Tuesday in Municipal Court on the breaking and entering charge, where a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Dec. 6. His cash/surety bond was set at $7,500. He also was fined $75 for driving under suspension and $30 for a seat belt charge from an unrelated incident.



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