Grandma's tough love leads to grandson's arrests

Posted at 10:41 AM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 08:32:10-04

ST. BERNARD, Ohio - A grandmother's tough love helped police put her 22-year-old grandson in jail over the weekend – and she did it twice in three days, police said.

In both cases, she led officers right to Devin Denney's bedroom where they say they found stolen loot from unlocked cars and drug paraphernalia.

"I want him to go to jail," Shirley Denney told WCPO. "He's been on drugs since he was 16. I want Devin straightened up."

The loot included cell phones, money, checks, credit cards, an ATM card, a thumb drive, even weightlifting equipment, according to police. They also said they found a crack pipe and a suspected heroin syringe and needle - more than 40 pieces of evidence in all.

Police came to Shirley's house Friday and she let them into Devin's room without a warrant. Based on what they found, they arrested him, and Devin was locked up in the Justice Center.

But not for long.

"He spent about 12 hours in jail,"  said St. Bernard Police Chief Steve Moeller

The jail was overcrowded again, so …

"They let him out," Shirley said.

Devin went right back to ripping off cars in St. Bernard, Moeller said.

 "Monday morning we started getting additional reports of vehicles that had been gone through," Moeller said

There was even a report that Devin was driving a neighbor's stolen car.

That brought the police back to Shirley's doorstep on Monday.

"Again searched the residence," Moeller said.

Again without needing a warrant because Shirley invited them in.

While police were in Devin's bedroom, the phone rang and an officer answered it, Shirley said.

"Some druggie called and wanted to speak to Devin," she said.

"If these allegations are true, you're a one-man crime wave," Judge Ted Berry said to Devin in court on Tuesday.

The judge wasn't happy to see Devin back  there just two days after being locked up.

"I didn't want the sheriff to let you out. He let you out because the jail was overcrowded," Berry said.

Not this time, the judge said.

"I'm putting down no early release, no sheriff's release," the judge said.

Moeller said Shirley is trying to do the right thing with Devin.

"They care about him," Moeller said. "They want him to get help."

"I want help for that boy," said Shirley.

Devin's grandma hopes her tough love pays off.

"I'm going to look forward to it," Shirley said.

St. Bernard police say some recovered items have not yet been claimed. If you are missing items from your car, contact investigating officers Keith Ingram and Mike Matheson at (513) 242-2727.