Upper Arlington police last week continued to advise residents to take preventive measures to deter opportunistic thieves who have targeted city neighborhoods over the past three weeks.
Since approximately Sept. 20, thieves have struck more than 100 homes and vehicles throughout Upper Arlington.
In many cases, global-positioning devices, laptop computers and other personal items have been stolen from vehicles that were either left unlocked or were broken into during late-evening and early-morning hours, police said.
In some instances, the culprits also made off with vehicles when keys were left inside or nearby, and garages also have been burglarized.
"Residents need to lock up their vehicles, remove property from them and not leave their keys in their vehicles," Upper Arlington police officer Heather Galli said. "No one area of Upper Arlington is immune to this type of theft activity.
"Not only are cars being targeted, but thieves are looking for other opportunities like unlocked garages and other structures."
In addition to locking vehicles and removing all property from plain view, Galli said residents should lock the doors and windows to their homes, garages and other structures, and make use of exterior lights and alarm systems.
The crime alert comes after more than 60 thefts were reported in recent weeks from vehicles, garages, sheds and homes in the city, and after another rash of thefts the weekend of Sept. 28-30.
"We had another 40 incidents," Galli said. "Over the weekend, we just got hit hard. This leads us to speculate or believe we have multiple individuals stealing in the Upper Arlington area."
In some cases, residents awoke to find their vehicles had been stolen.
"In the last two and one-half weeks, we've had over eight vehicles stolen," Galli said. "In every one of those cases, we had keys left in or near an unattended vehicle."
In addition to preaching preventive measures, Galli said police are stepping up neighborhood patrols and are working with media outlets to get information to residents.
She added that people who are victimized or see suspicious activity should contact the Upper Arlington Police Division at 614-583-5160.
"You don't necessarily have to file a police report, but it gives us an idea how many people have been affected," she said.
Additionally, Galli said the police division encourages residents to inventory their valuables by taking photos or documenting serial numbers, since this information can help police recover stolen items.
She also noted the division offers bicycle licensing, which aids in recovery if bikes are stolen.