Akron man talks to WKYC, returns stolen scrap to site of fatal fire

Man who took scrapped metal from Akron home returns items

AKRON - Not long after the crime tape came down yesterday at a home in Akron where seven people died, a man was seen taking metal from the yard to sell for scrap.

The images went viral on social media.

On Tuesday, WKYC Channel 3's Andrew Horansky tracked him down, meeting John Avellino, a self-described “scrapper.”

“I never go on property like that without knocking on somebody’s door,” Avellino said. “But when I saw that, I talked to a guy who was there and he told me ‘it would be alright. He didn’t care if I did it.’”

Avellino admits he had no idea who the guy was or what happened to the family who lived at the home.

The state fire marshal’s office reviewed the footage and told Horansky that the act was illegal but not uncommon.

Avellino admitted to taking an air conditioner and pieces of a door which were estimated at about $5.

He also seemed ready to collect on that money until talking out the situation with Horansky.

“I have to do the right thing,” Avellino said. “You’re going to make me cry.”

On Tuesday afternoon, he drove back to the scene and returned the metal to the yard.

“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” he said. “I didn’t know.”

We captured the moment on WKYC's Facebook Live: 

Avellino said he does not own a computer and was not aware that so many people knew about his story.

Calls to the Akron Police Department regarding the case were not returned.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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