Uniontown area man arrested in a string of burglaries, break-ins

Uniontown Police say an elderly couple awoke Thursday morning to a township man leaving their home with their guns.

Police believe Dean P. Poling, 22, of 1589 Lomalinda Cir. NW, initially broke into the couple's garage on Farm Creek Avenue NW and then into the attached home through a garage door, said Capt. David Brown of the Uniontown Police Department.

And they don't believe he was the only one.

Brown said police have another suspect whom they believe joined Poling in a local crime spree, breaking into several cars and homes and stealing a car.

"We are also looking at another group of kids that may be breaking into cars," he said. "Hopefully, we'll be arresting them soon."

Poling was arrested at 10:01 p.m. Thursday at the police department on charges of aggravated burglary, grand theft of a motor vehicle, three counts of burglary and two counts of petty theft, Stark County Jail records said.

Poling said that earlier, he had broken into the couple's home and was leaving with four guns and other belongings when a family pet woke the couple shortly before 5:30 a.m. He fled through the front door.

No one was injured.

But it wasn't the only home he'd broken into in a little more than week, Brown said.

Investigators believe Poling has been breaking into numerous cars.

"We have recovered property from several car thefts, and we have three or four more (theft) victims to identify," Brown said.

Police believe that he had been getting into unlocked cars and stealing things from them and that, at one point, he found a car that was "out of service for maintenance" with the keys inside, the captain said.

Poling reportedly told arresting officers "Why walk when I can drive?" so he stole a license plate from a another car, put it on the "out of service" vehicle and then drove away. Investigators believe he drove across the township, broke into another home and then returned the vehicle, parking it on the lawn belonging to the victim's neighbor, Brown said.

"He wasn't alone on that. We're still looking at another subject," Brown said.

He is also accused of stealing credit cards.

A news release from Brown and Detective John Koehler also said the thefts occurred around the Uniontown area and the Lake YMCA.

Poling remained in the jail early Friday, held in lieu of $102,000 bond pending a hearing in Canton Municipal Court.

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or on Twitter: @lmonsewiczREP