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Alleged thief makes break from courtroom

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Matthew Haller, 32, of the 700 block of Vermilion Road, was being arraigned on charges of credit card theft at the Vermilion Municipal Court last week when he darted from the courtroom and promptly stole two more credit cards off a woman’s porch, Vermilion police said.


Haller was charged with escape and theft. His alleged accomplice and former schoolmate, Matthew Machock, 31, 1200 block Adams St., was charged with complicity to escape.

A Vermilion police officer escorted Haller into the courtroom at about 4 p.m. Oct. 3 for an arraignment, but when the officer stepped into a nearby holding room, Machock slid down his bench and nudged an exterior door open with his foot, policesaid.

Machock and Haller exchanged a few nonverbal cues before Haller hopped up from his seat, leapt over a partition and bolted out the door, police said.

Despite his handcuffed wrists and the leather belt that locked them to his waist, Haller made his way down the street and promptly lifted two more credit cards from a purse sitting on a porch, police said.

A few minutes later, a resident saw a shackled Haller near Ritter Public Library and tackled him to the ground, police said.

Haller was a free man for a grand total of 14 minutes.

Officers charged both men for their additional alleged crimes, booking Haller into the Lorain County jail and Machock into the Erie County jail.

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