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Van stolen in Norwalk recovered; man arrested

By Tandem Media Network • Updated Sep 14, 2018 at 8:56 AM

A multi-day manhunt involving numerous law enforcement departments across Ohio ended Tuesday afternoon when authorities arrested a man accused of stealing at least two vehicles and one boat.

One of the vehicles stolen was a van from in front of St. Paul Catholic Church. The van was stolen Monday and recovered Tuesday in Vermilion.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol apprehended Jonathan Puccia, who has a New Jersey address, somewhere along the Ohio Turnpike in Portage County, southeast of Cleveland, according to Erie County Chief Deputy Jared Oliver. As of late Tuesday, a report detailing the incident wasn’t completed. 

Officials said Puccia is a person of interest who, since Monday:

• Stole a van from St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Norwalk

• Stole a boat, which later surfaced Tuesday, from Key Harbour Marina in Vermilion

• Tried stealing a different vehicle from a Vermilion-area residence; He was unsuccessful in his attempts.

• Stole another car, which is the one troopers stopped and found him in on the turnpike; It’s not known when he stole this car.

• Broke into the Wayside Inn on West Lake Road (U.S. 6) in Vermilion Township and took alcohol and food among other items

In Erie County, Puccia faces two felony-level charges: receiving stolen property for the boat and breaking and entering into a business. He’ll receive additional charges a grand jury must first review.

“I want to thank all the other agencies for helping us in this search and in the arrest of this suspect,” Oliver said.

Among the agencies involved: the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Vermilion police and Norwalk police.

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