A homeless man reportedly with a history of stealing from family members is accused of stealing video games and action figures from his 8-year-old son and pawning them for money to buy drugs.
The man's girlfriend, Gala Barney, 44, also homeless, is also accused of theft in connection with the incident.
However, thanks to his grandmother, the boy will have toys for the holidays, Erie County Sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Papineau said.
Barney and Jeremy Morrow, 33, are in custody in the Erie County Jail and charged with theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. That carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, Papineau said.
Barney is in custody, unable to post a $9,000 bond. Morrow, too, is jailed in lieu of a $12,814 bond.
Morrow is possibly estranged from the boy's mother, Papineau said. Morrow's mother has custody of the boy.
Morrow was visiting the house in Milan Township earlier this month, Papineau said. A week later, the boy's mother realized the items -- a Nintendo 3DS and related games and a Skylander Xbox 360, were missing. The woman called police and said she believed her son was involved because he has a past history of stealing from family members, Papineau said. He added Morrow was already incarcerated in the Erie County Jail on unrelated drug charges and a warrant in connection with failure to pay back fines.
Papineau went to the jail to interview Morrow about his alleged theft of his son's games.
"He admitted he was at the house and took items that belonged to his son, Papineau said. He added the suspect took them to the Exchange in Sandusky, sold them and received between $50 and $90 which he used to buy crack cocaine, Papineau said.
Papineau said Morrow appeared to be "somewhat remorseful" but said he has an addiction and that's why he stole his son's games.
Papineau also said since Morrow didn't have an identification with him, he had his girlfriend take the games into the Exchange and receive the money. She was arrested on a warrant in connection with the theft. Barney was also wanted on a warrant in connection with an unrelated possession of drugs crime out of Sandusky Municipal Court, Papineau said
"It's very disappointing especially right before Christmas," he said.
Erie County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jared Oliver said this marks the first time he can recall such an incident.
"Sometimes people get pretty desperate," he said.
Oliver commended police for bring the case to a close.
Papineau also commended Morrow's mother, whom he said was disappointed that her grandson was without games. So she bought him new ones.
"I think it was excellent," Papineau said.