Two Willard teens were arrested in connection with stealing a flat screen TV from a Woodland Avenue home Monday morning. Police said they used the suspects' footprints to track them down.
Josh Cerritos, 18, of 704 S. Myrtle Ave., and Kyle Zarcone, 19, of 631 Pleasant St., are charged with burglary. The Willard Police Department found the pair laying in an enclosed porch of a West Pearl Street residence, about 3 1/2 blocks southwest of the victim's home.
Chief Mark Holden said he's not sure if the suspects were sleeping or trying to hide from officers, but they initially denied any involvement in taking the TV. Police found the property in an alley.
"They supposedly put it down because one of the guys dropped his cell phone. They were looking for the cell phone. That's when we found them the first time," Holden said.
Police received the call about the burglary at 7:06 a.m.
Holden said four minutes later, the responding officers encountered Cerritos and Zarcone as they were walking, identified them and released them because police had nothing to connect them to the crime.
"They ran across the guys first but they didn't have the TV," the chief said.
Police were tracking footprints in the snow at the time.
The caller heard the intruders leave and noticed a flat screen TV missing from the living room, police said. The victim also reported seeing footprints in the snow leaving from an open window at her residence.
"The resident was there when they were in the house. ... She didn't see them; she just heard them," Holden said.
Police found the TV at 7:20 a.m., 10 minutes after they first encountered the suspects.
"Officers noticed that the footprints around the TV matched the shoes of the two males that they had identified earlier," Holden said. "The officers began tracking the footprints again and located the two males hiding (in) an enclosed porch in the 400 block of West Pearl Street."
Police found the pair the second time at 7:43 a.m.
"Both men were interviewed and made admissions to the crime," Holden said.
After being taken to the police station, Cerritos and Zarcone were transported to the Huron County Jail.
In December, Zarcone was at his residence when police used a search warrant during a drug raid, and a woman and pitbull ended up getting shot by police. Zarcone and Anthony R. Hicks, 19, of 607 Pleasant St., were arrested on felony drug charges in that case.
The shooting incident remains under investigation, although two officers have been reassigned desk jobs for now. The woman, who was shot in the foot about the time officers fired at two charging pitbull dogs, suffered a minor injury.