A tip from an Oxley Road resident last Thursday, Jan. 3, enabled Grandview Heights police to arrest a man believed to be among those responsible for at least some of the thefts from vehicles that have occurred over the past few months in central Ohio.
Matthew Bossert, 27, of Columbus was arrested after the resident called police about 4:30 a.m. to report she saw three men with flashlights looking in cars on Oxley Road near Burr Avenue.
Grandview police officer Drew Brubaker was in the area and responded, finding the men in a car just north of Burr Avenue, Police Chief David Wood said.
One of the men apparently fled in a vehicle waiting in the alley between Oxley and McClain roads, Wood said.
Grandview officers and Columbus police converged on the scene and chased the other two men on foot, he said.
Brubaker was able to capture Bossert as he hid between houses in the 800 block of Oxley Road. Police were unable to capture the other suspects, who fled on foot.
Worthington police had notified area police departments Dec. 27 that Bossert had a warrant for his arrest on a felony charge of receiving stolen property and multiple cases pending in Franklin County Municipal Court.
The notice stated Bossert previously had been arrested several times by Worthington, Upper Arlington and Columbus police for various theft offenses.
In making the arrest Jan. 3, Brubaker recovered two backpacks filled with electronics, Wood said.
Bossert had a credit card belonging to a Grandview resident in his pocket and the owner confirmed her credit card had been stolen, he said.
Bossert was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property and one count each of obstructing official business, falsification and carrying a concealed weapon, police said.
By Friday, Jan. 4, police had identified the owner of a satellite radio found in one of the backpacks, and additional charges are likely, Wood said.
No descriptions of the other two suspects or of the driver of the car were reported, he said.
A recent spate of thefts has occurred around central Ohio, including Grandview, Columbus, Hilliard, Westerville, Worthington and Upper Arlington, Wood said.
"We've had a lot of reports in our community and we sent out officers in unmarked cars to try to capture the thieves," he said. "The problem is having enough officers out there to capture the bad guys."
Wood said he was grateful the Oxley Road resident contacted police after observing suspicious activity on her street.
"As I've said before, we can't be everywhere and we rely on the residents of our community to serve as our eyes and ears," he said. "We make a good team. Here's an example to show residents really can help us catch the bad guys."
Residents should not hesitate to notify police anytime they see someone or something that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary, Wood said.
"Let us know and we can take it from there," he said.