YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A man is accused of breaking into a house and making a filthy mess — leaving food and trash everywhere. The homeowner came home to find the man in her shower!
Loraine Centofanti said it was quite the task cleaning up the mess she claims the man left behind.
“This is not a human being that did this. It has to be an animal. Humans, a person, doesn’t do this,” Centofanti said.
Police said 33-year-old Jacob Merchant broke into the woman’s home and four other homes in Youngstown, Ohio over about a week’s time.
Centofanti caught him when she arrived home from work late on Tuesday night, January 24th. The man was in her bathroom.
“And he’s in here, sitting down like this with the shower going, rinsing his hair,” Centofanti said.
Centofanti ran from her home and called police.
She said Merchant ran out as well. Detectives caught up with him Sunday, January 29th after he was spotted getting aboard a Worcester Regional Transit Authority bus.
“He has a lengthy record for burglary and theft offenses,” Lt. Doug Bobovnyik with the Youngstown Police Department said.
Police said Merchant admitted to the five break-ins.
“He just kept saying he went to get warm and to eat,” Sgt. Mike Cox with the Youngstown Police Department said.
Sgt. Cox said in each case, Merchant also brought with him bags of food, cigarettes and beer. He was caught on surveillance video at a Shell convenience store just around the corner shortly before authorities said he kicked in Centofanti’s door.
“He admitted to us that he went in about an hour after he bought everything, so he was probably there four and a half hours,” Sgt. Cox said.
Centofanti said Merchant trashed every room in her home, leaving food, filth and debris throughout.
While detectives suspect Merchant may have mental health issues, Centofanti she’s just been busy dealing with the carnage he left behind.
“I’m sorry, but I have no remorse for this person. No,” Centofanti said.