Police chief: As thefts increase, 'protect yourself'
Presents, other items in cars tempt burglars
The Grandview Heights Division of Police is taking steps to combat a recent spate of thefts in Marble Cliff and parts of Grandview.
The issue was raised at a recent neighborhood block watch meeting, Police Chief David Wood said.
"There have been a number of incidents in Marble Cliff and Grandview, but it's happening all over -- in Upper Arlington, Columbus, everywhere," he said. "There have been some burglaries of homes, but it's mostly thefts from cars."
Police chiefs from central Ohio communities including Columbus, Arlington, Worthington, Hilliard and Grandview have been meeting to discuss and share ideas for addressing the increase in theft and other crimes, Wood said.
Grandview officers are on foot patrol more often, he said, and the department is increasing the amount of time officers patrol in unmarked cars and while wearing civilian clothing.
"That allows us to hopefully get to observe thieves in the act without their knowing it," Wood said.
One of the reasons thefts are occurring more frequently now is the holiday season, he said.
Thieves may be looking for money they can use to buy gifts or are tempted by gifts their victims have purchased and left in their vehicles, Wood said.
"People need to remember to lock their cars and to keep valuables out of plain sight," he said.
Many thefts occur because motorists leave their cars unlocked and their garage doors open or leave cellphones, iPods, purses, wallets and other items on their car seats for anyone to see, Wood said.
"Protect yourself and don't make it easy for the bad guys," he said.
Residents should not hesitate to call the police if they see or hear anything they think is suspicious, Wood said.
"If you see someone you think is acting suspicious, call us and we can stop and talk to them and find out if they're up to something," he said.