Cuyahoga County

Trio Sentenced to Combined 27 Years in Prison for 19-day Burglary Spree Spanning 12 Cities Across County



CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that Christopher Harvath, 41, Joseph Harvath, 42, and Carl Deditch, 37, were sentenced to 14 years, 8 years, and 5 years in prison, respectively, for a burglary spree that spanned 12 cities in Cuyahoga County between November 23, 2018, and December 11, 2018.

“Christopher and Joseph Harvath are career criminals who have preyed upon the citizens of Cuyahoga County for far too long,” said Prosecutor O’Malley.  “They will no longer be able to wreak havoc in our communities thanks to the diligent work of all law enforcement agencies involved.”

Over the 19-day period, the trio broke into several apartment complexes and stole numerous items which included cars, televisions, iPads, power tools, cell phones, clothing, wallets, cash, checks, gift cards, credit cards, license plates, garage door openers, and Christmas trees.  Fourteen different incidents were reported in Parma, Fairview Park, Westlake, Rocky River, Beachwood, Lakewood, Broadview Heights, Shaker Heights, Strongsville, Euclid, Lyndhurst, and Cleveland.

On December 5, 2018, Shaker Heights Police and Cleveland Police’s Airport Unit arrested Deditch in a parking lot at Hopkins Airport.

On December 11, 2018, the Harvath brothers drove a vehicle they had previously stole to a parking lot of a Westlake business near Clemens Rd. and Bassett Road.  They exited the vehicle and attempted to swap the stolen vehicle’s license plates with the plates of an employee’s parked car.  The employee and two coworkers confronted the duo and an altercation ensued.  Christopher Harvath got back into the stolen vehicle and fled the scene.  The group of employees were able to detain Joseph Harvath until Westlake Police arrived and arrested him.  Christopher Harvath was arrested shortly after when he crashed into several vehicles near the Detroit Rd. and Cahoon Rd. intersection.  Two victims from the crash had to be transported to the hospital where they were treated for severe injuries.

Investigators from each agency were able to link the trio to the crimes through surveillance video, fingerprints, DNA evidence, and witnesses identification.

Christopher Harvath pled guilty to 21 charges that included Robbery, Burglary, Aggravated Vehicular Assault, Grand Theft, Breaking And Entering, Failure To Comply, Receiving Stolen Property, and Drug Possession.  He was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $8,775.95 in restitution.

Joseph Harvath pled guilty to 10 charges that included Robbery, Burglary, Grand Theft, Breaking And Entering, and Receiving Stolen Property.  He was sentenced to 8 years in prison and ordered to pay $6,697.30 in restitution.

Deditch pled guilty to 4 charges that included Burglary and Attempted Burglary.  He was sentenced to 5 years in prison.