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Break-in defendant pleads guilty

Cary Ashby • Dec 7, 2013 at 10:07 PM

A man has been convicted of breaking into a Willard garage.

Patrick A. Belt, 20, of Ashland, pleaded guilty Tuesday to breaking and entering. He will be sentenced Jan. 15.

In exchange for the conviction, prosecutors dismissed one count of tampering with evidence in connection with the defendant attempting to hide a wrench in a toilet paper roll at the Willard police station.

A neighbor heard the break-in at the garage June 10.

"One guy bolted and was able to escape," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said soon after Belt was indicted in mid-August.

Belt and a male accomplice stacked up tools in the garage for "easier delivery" and also wrapped some of them in shirts, Leffler said. Belt was arrested near the Willard crime scene and later posted a $20,000 bond.

"Willard police did a nice job. ... We hope to eventually prosecute the other individual with some (DNA) science," Leffler said in August.

Currently, Belt is in custody at the Ashland County Jail. He is on probation through Ashland Municipal Court for disorderly conduct and criminal damaging.

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