The city of Bexley is urging residents to exercise caution and be vigilant in protecting valuables left in vehicles when visiting the Community Pool, 2100 Clifton Ave.
After four reported theft incidents at the pool Aug. 4, the Recreation and Parks Department posted signs and sent out emails to pool members advising people not to leave valuables in their cars when parked in the pool's lot.
"If there's not something visible that is of value in your car, (criminals are) a whole lot less likely to spend the time" to break in, said Recreation Director Michael Price. "The two things that come to mind are GPS (units) and bags."
In the Aug. 4 reports, residents reported that someone broke windows and rummaged through and stole items ranging from a designer handbag to an inexpensive backpack.
Locking valuables in the trunk or, better yet, leaving them at home are strategies to stop criminals in their tracks, officials said.
Recreation and Parks officials and police have also discussed installing a fence along a wooded area on Clifton Avenue to deter criminals from entering the pool's parking lot.
There also have been discussions of installing additional security cameras, Price said. Since the city is considering relocating City Hall and the city's service garage, new security cameras at the pool and other facilities could be put out to bid as a package, Price said.
"One vendor could do it all," he said.
While there are security cameras near the pool's bicycle rack, the Recreation and Parks Department is considering moving the rack to a more visible location near the front desk, Price said. In the meantime, residents also are encouraged to secure their bicycles.
While car and bicycle thefts have not been a consistent problem over the past several years, the recent crime spree has put the city and residents on notice, Price said.
"We take this very seriously," he said.