A Columbus man believed responsible for dozens of car break-ins and thefts in Madison and three other central Ohio counties was arraigned on Thursday, Dec. 19, on two counts of possessing stolen vehicles.
Andrew M. Seitz, 27, 3793 Briggs Road, appeared before Madison County Common Pleas Judge Eamon Costello charged with possessing a stolen 2004 Mercury Mountaineer and a stolen 2010 Volkswagen Jetta on Sept. 30.
In both instances, DNA linked Seitz to the vehicles, according to assistant county prosecutor Nick Adkins.
Costello appointed Seth Schertzinger to represent Seitz at a Jan. 27, 2014, trial and denied the defense attorney’s request to reduce Seitz’s $10,000 bond.
Adkins said Seitz is suspected of stealing and breaking into cars in Madison County on six different nights over a three-month period. Adkins noted Seitz has a lengthy criminal record of theft and drug-related offenses.
Seitz was arrested in a west Columbus strip mall Nov. 13, while driving a Ford pick-up reportedly stolen on Woods West Avenue a day earlier.
The arrest followed a series of vehicle break-ins in Monroe and Canaan townships Nov. 11-12. One victim saw a man breaking into his car early on Nov. 12 and called 9-1-1.
Dep. Bryan Huddleston responded and spotted a 2002 Volvo leaving the area at a high rate a speed. Huddleston pursued the Volvo on Finley-Guy Road until the driver lost control and hit a tree. A footchase followed and deputies lost the driver’s trail in a wooded area near Woods West Avenue.
An area resident called 9-1-1 minutes later to say his Ford pick-up was missing. Seitz was driving that truck when Columbus SWAT officers closed in for the arrest.
The Volvo left wrecked on Finley-Guy Road was reported stolen in Powell.
Lt. Eric Semler of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office said Seitz is suspected of stealing and abandoning vehicles and pilfering others in at least four counties, as well as the City of Columbus.
Also on Thursday, Costello denied bond reductions for Columbus residents Leathan Kuhn, 39, and Brian Scaff, 44. Both are in Tri-County Regional Jail under $100,000 bonds.
Kuhn and Scaff are charged with burglarizing a home on West Jefferson-Kiousville Road on Nov. 4. Local deputies pursued the men’s car into Franklin County following the break-in. The chase ended when their vehicle, with Scaff at the wheel, crashed on Columbus’ west side.
Adkins told Costello the men are suspects in 10 to 12 other burglaries throughout central Ohio and are likely to face charges in other counties.