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Man held in utility dropbox thefts

– Police have arrested a New Haven man accused of prying open the Fort Wayne City Utilities dropbox three separate times and taking the payment envelopes inside.

Jason O. Lane, 39, was charged Friday with a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief and four felonies: attempted theft, criminal mischief and two counts of theft.

Early on the mornings of Nov. 1 and 5, a surveillance system captured video of a man on a bicycle who stopped at the dropbox on East Berry Street, north of Citizens Square. Using what looked like a pry bar, he forced open the dropbox and took the envelopes inside, some of which held cash payments, court papers stated.

Surveillance video also showed the same man pry open the dropbox early Feb. 11, but he did not take anything that time. The damage to the dropbox was estimated at $2,500, court papers said.

Shortly after 2 a.m. Feb. 25, Lane was riding a bicycle downtown, and a police officer stopped him because he matched the description of the man in the videos. In an interview with detectives, Lane admitted to the crimes, court papers stated.

Lane, from New Haven, was being held Friday at the Allen County Jail in lieu of $7,500 bail.

aingersoll@jg.net

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