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The Suburbanite
  • 5 wanted in case involving kidnapping, extortion, burglary

  • Canton police are looking for five people in connection with two unrelated incidents after a kidnapped, self-proclaimed heroin addict tells police he’s been burglarizing Stark County homes.

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  • Police are looking for five people — a duo accused of kidnapping a man while extorting money from his family and three others who investigators say burglarized area homes and sold the stolen goods.
    Warrants have been issued for all six — including the kidnapping victim, whom police have identified as Steven M. Zanin, 31, of 2454 Viceroy Dr. SW in Tuscarawas Township.
    Detectives are also looking for:
    • Isaiah Carl-Lee Thomas, 23, of 816 Lawrence Rd. NE
    • Regina M. Morales, 22, of 4533 Stephen Circle NW in Jackson Township
    • Jason A. Hull, 32, of 2522 Harmont Ave. NE
    • Michael L. Robinson Jr., 30, of 910 Shorb Ave. NW
    • Crystal Pettit, 24, whose last known address was listed as 1005 Woodview  St. SW, said Capt. Dave Davis, who heads the police department’s Detective Bureau.
    Only Zanin has been arrested.
    Police arrested him Tuesday on warrants charging him with two counts of burglary, Stark County Jail records said.
    And due to what Davis called “an unbelievably great job (by the detective) investigating this pretty elaborate case,” the majority of the stolen goods have been recovered.
    KIDNAPPING, EXTORTION
    Zanin initially went to police a week ago, telling them that between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Jan. 21, Thomas and Morales kidnapped him at Sixth Street and Cleveland Avenue NW, Canton police reports said.
    The duo reportedly drove him around Canton, Massillon and Jackson Township in a Ford Ranger pickup as they threatened to kill him if his family didn’t give them money for his release, said Detective Bill Adams, who handled the investigation.
    Two members of Zanin’s family gave Morales and Thomas an undisclosed amount of money to secure Zanin’s release, Adams said.
    A few hours later, Zanin reported the incident.
    Arrest warrants were issued for Thomas and Morales, each on charges of kidnapping and extortion. Morales is additionally wanted on an aggravated robbery charge.
    Zanin also told police that due to his heroin addiction, he and two other men had been burglarizing homes throughout the county.
    THE BURGLARIES
    Adams said one of the burglaries occurred in Massillon, another in Perry Township and the remainder in Canton. Police in those jurisdictions have been notified, the detective said.
    Zanin was charged with the Jan. 25 burglary of a home in the 1000 block of Linwood Avenue SW and the Sunday burglary of a home in the 1200 block of Perkins Avenue NW, Davis said.
    Warrants stemming from those burglaries have also been issued for the arrests of Hull and Robinson.
    Zanin, Hull and Robinson are accused of stealing “items they could sell quickly — TVs, jewelry, electronics, iPods, gaming systems, guns...” Adams said.
    The items were sold to gold-exchange businesses in Plain Township and the Belden Village areas, he said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hull and Robinson are each wanted on multiple counts of burglary and receiving stolen property, and Pettit is wanted on two counts of felony receiving stolen property, Adams said.
    He said more charges and more arrests are also pending as the investigation continued Thursday.
    He asked anyone who knows the location of those wanted in this case, or any other information about the burglaries, to call police at 330-649-5800 or the detective bureau at 330-489-3144.