The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office has stepped up patrols in Violet Township following a rash of daytime burglaries.

The Fairfield County Sheriff's Office has stepped up patrols in Violet Township following a rash of daytime burglaries.

Since December, there have been roughly a dozen burglaries in the Winding Creek subdivision and nearby neighborhoods.

According to Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen, the thieves are targeting homes left vacant during the day and are making off with items ranging from jewelry and televisions to firearms.

"I think we've had three in Winding Creek and we've had a couple others in adjoining subdivisions," Phalen said. "We've had about five since the first of the year and probably about a dozen since the first of December in the Violet and Liberty areas.

"They're all unsolved," he said. "Typically, they're daytime burglaries, and many have happened between the hours of 9 (a.m.) and noon."

Phalen said he doesn't believe two Columbus men arrested on Saturday, Jan. 23, for a series of burglaries and home invasions in Fairfield and Franklin counties are connected to the recent Violet Township burglaries.

He said his office suspects that many, if not all, of the Violet Township burglaries are connected because of the similarity of the crimes.

"They will knock on doors and if they don't get an answer, they will force entry," he said.

As of Jan. 22, no arrests had been made in connection to the burglaries. Phalen said a White Dodge Durango and a "white, box-shaped car" are suspected of being involved in the offenses.

"We're working with the Reynoldsburg Police Department and Pickerington Police Department to investigate these incidents," he said. "We are increasing patrols.

"We're not going to share all of our investigative strategies, but we are working hard to solve these in conjunction with other agencies."

Reynoldsburg police Lt. Jim O'Neill said his office is investigating approximately eight to 10 burglaries that occurred in the state Route 256 corridor of Reynoldsburg in November and December.

However, he said those incidents seemed to have ceased following the recent arrest of a suspect.

"We had a rash of them, probably starting in mid- to late-November that ran through December," he said. "They were all within the 256 corridor, within a half-mile or less of Interstate 70."

Thus far, the incidents haven't stretched into Pickerington, according to Pickerington police Cmdr. Matt Delp.

"All those burglaries have happened outside our city limits," he said. "We don't patrol the township and we don't respond to individuals in the township unless we're called for assistance."

In the wake of the incidents, Phalen has asked residents to be vigilant and watch out for their neighbors. He said residents planning to be out of town should put their home lights on a timer, temporarily stop mail delivery and contact the sheriff's office to receive "vacation checks" by sheriff's deputies while they're away.

"If you see anyone suspicious, especially someone knocking on doors, you should call us immediately," he said.

Those with information about the burglaries also are asked to call the sheriff's office at (74) 653-5223.

nellis@thisweeknews.com