Police say they’ve identified suspect in Jackson Twp. church theft

Local News

JACKSON TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Jackson Township Police Chief Greg Taillon said tips from the community led to the identification of a suspect in a theft from Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine.

WKBN reported on the theft Tuesday as well as a photo that police released in the hopes of identifying the man. Police said after the story ran, tips from the community poured in.

“We just started receiving multiple tips and leads,” Chief Taillon said. “These were all very, very consistent, that everyone that called that recognized the suspect as Michael McCutcheon at this point.”

McCutcheon is a 49-year-old man from Youngstown. Police said he stole cash from an elderly parishioner and money from the gift shop cash register at Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine in North Jackson last Friday.

Surveillance cameras caught the suspect, wearing a matching face mask and bandana and a Struthers Wildcat sweatshirt, letting himself into the church office Friday morning and helping himself to a worker’s purse, stealing about $30 before walking into the gift shop and engaging with a parishioner behind the counter.

The video shows the woman walking away and the suspect opening both cash drawers and stealing what police said was about $200. He then walked out into the parking lot, climbed into the passenger seat of a Lexus and drove off.

The thefts were not discovered until much later that day when workers closed out the cash register.

Taillon said McCutcheon has a long record of convictions for theft, robbery, burglary and other crimes. He was released from the Ohio prison system in July 2020 after about 10 years and is currently wanted by the Adult Parole Authority for violating his probation.

He is known to many neighboring communities — Taillon said investigators are seeking warrants for his arrest in other jurisdictions including Boardman, Youngstown and Austintown.

In Ausintown, McCutcheon is wanted for an incident at the GetGo on Mahoning Avenue in early September. Police said he went through a woman’s purse inside the store but didn’t take anything.

Ten days earlier, he hit the Dollar General on Kirk Road in Austintown and walked into the manager’s office.

“Selected an employee’s purse, took the purse out, walked through the store, leafed through the wallet. Ultimately took her debit card and left the store,” said Austintown Det. Greg McGlynn.

So, detectives say his actions last Friday at the shrine are pretty consistent with his previous crimes.

“He’s actually spoke to victims, employees of businesses and played it off like he was supposed to be there, he was supposed to be doing what he’s doing,” McGlynn said.

Authorities are asking anyone who sees McCutcheon to call their local police department.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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