Authorities said the printed and online publication of a suspected car thief's photo led to his arrest.
The Reflector published a photo of Humberto J. Zendejas, 32, of 347 E. Ohio 61, on the front page of Thursday's issue, asking assistance from the public in helping identify the suspect. The man's photo appeared earlier online at norwalkreflector.com.
"When it went on the website, we got calls telling us who that was," Norwalk Police Chief Dave Light said.
Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton and Sgt. Seth Fry went to Zendejas' Ohio 61 home about 4:35 p.m. Thursday -- the same day his photo was published in the newspaper. Light said the investigators "saw him cutting his grass."
"It surprisingly looked like the guy in the photo," the chief added.
Zendejas was arrested on a Norwalk Municipal Court warrant and charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle. The fourth-degree felony, punishable by six to 18 months behind bars, is in connection with an incident involving a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero stolen Monday from a gas pump at Schild's IGA on Milan Avenue.
"They took him into custody and he confessed to stealing it," Light said.
Police recovered the undamaged Alero at Miller Landscape & Gardens on Sand Road east of Norwalk on Tuesday.
"The detectives did lift fingerprints off the vehicle," Capt. Eric Hipp said earlier.
The owner reported her car was stolen about 4:10 p.m. Monday. The Cline Street woman left her car at the gas pump.
"She went into the cafe side (of Schild's) and apparently left her keys in the ignition," Hipp said. "She came back out and her car was gone."
Police released surveillance footage to the Reflector with the hope of identifying the suspect, who had been in the grocery store.
Zendejas, in the video, first walks through the automatic doors of the store. He then goes into the parking lot, around the passenger side of the car to the front before opening the driver's side door and drives away. Zendejas was wearing a light blue button-down shirt and khaki pants at the time.
In the video, the suspect drove in front of a red car before leaving the scene.
When Zendejas was apprehended Thursday, he also was arrested on two probation violation warrants. Police and jail records indicate the original convictions were misdemeanor counts of theft and receiving stolen property.
"I'd like to thank the Norwalk Reflector," Light said. "Technology is a wonderful thing."
Zendejas remains in Huron County Jail, awaiting a bond hearing. His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.