Police arrest suspect in string of burglaries
Oberlin Police arrested a 25 year-old local man this past Sunday in connection with a series of burglaries and street robberies that have taken place in Oberlin this month.
The suspect is Jose Algarin of 110 Groveland St.. He has been charged with eight counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of felonious assault and one count of aggravated burglary. These charges include the armed robbery of two Oberlin College students.
The arrest was made Sunday night when officers responded to a call that there was a fight in the Martin Luther King Park at the corner of Vine and Main Streets. When the police arrived they found Jose Algarin detained by five males.
The captors told the police that Algarin had approached them as they walked through the park, produced a handgun and demanded money. The victims struggled with their assailant and held him until police arrived. A Marksman BB pistol was found at the scene of the struggle. Algarin and one of his victims were taken to the hospital and treated for injuries sustained during the struggle.
According to police Algarin has admitted to involvement in four crimes since the beginning of September. On Sunday, Sept. 11, two male residents of S. Park Str. were victims of a home intrusion and robbery with a large knife by five assailants. On Sunday, Sept. 25, at approximately 1:04 a.m. two Oberlin students, residents of Groveland St., were robbed at gunpoint in front of their apartment. The same day at around 6:15 p.m., another Groveland St. resident reported being burglarized after allowing a man into her house to use the phone.
Jose Algarin is a suspect in all of these crimes and has confessed to his involvement, police say. The other four assailants from the Sept. 11 robbery remain unidentified and at large.
Oberlin College is known for being relatively safe, and the armed robbery that has been advertised on the students website and on fliers posted on doors around campus comes as a shock to many. However, Bob Jones, director of Safety and Security, does not feel that these crimes indicate a trend.
“Each year there are peaks and valleys,” Jones said. “This is not a trend. It’s caused by one or two individuals. It’s just a happenstance when they are located in our city.”
However he does urge students to stay safe, particularly at night.
“It’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Be suspicious of unwanted contact: bumming money, bumming cigarettes or whatever. Stay away from dark, isolated areas late at night.”
At his Sept. 27 arraignment, Algarin entered a not guilty plea before the
Municipal Court. He is being held at the Lorain County jail with a no contact
order that forbids contact with any of the alleged victims. Bond is set at
$250,000 with additional condition of compliance with no contact order. There is
a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 5 at 2:45 p.m. at which the court which
will determine if the case will be heard in Oberlin Municipal Court or sent to a