Upper Arlington News

Citywide crime alert

Police say precautions can cut down on thefts

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A spike in the number of reported burglaries and thefts prompted Upper Arlington police to issue a crime alert last week.

From April 1 to May 2, there were 22 reports of thefts from motor vehicles in Upper Arlington, and 17 burglaries or incidents of suspects breaking into unoccupied structures and stealing property, according to the Upper Arlington Police Division.

Officer Heather Galli said the division "has noticed a definite increase in reported burglaries and thefts within recent weeks.

"The community is no stranger to property crimes, but there does appear to be a spike in recent reported activity in the Upper Arlington community," she added.

Galli said UA police are working with neighboring agencies to determine if there are any patterns, or if any of the crimes are connected.

She added that local police sometimes see an increase in reported burglaries and thefts in the spring, after temperatures rise and residents leave windows and screen doors open.

Galli said residents can deter "crimes of opportunity" by not leaving homes, garages or vehicles unlocked and not leaving items such as tablet computers, laptop computers, purses and other property in plain view, even when doors are locked.

The division identified no specific areas of the city as targets.

In many of the burglaries, the victims reported money, jewelry, firearms and electronics were stolen while homeowners were away and left their doors or windows unlocked.

"There is no specific pattern to the thefts (and) burglaries," Galli said. "They are occurring in all areas of UA, at varying times of day. One contributing factor consistent with many of the reported thefts would be open or unsecured doors and windows."

Police asked that residents remain vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activities.

The crime alert instructed people to call police if they see:

• Someone looking in windows of houses and parked cars.

• Someone forcing entry into a house, garage or vehicle.

• Property being taken out of houses where no one is at home or from closed businesses.

• Cars, vans, or trucks moving slowly with no apparent destination or without lights.

• Any unusual noise, regardless of the time of day; for example, a scream, breaking glass, loud crashing sound, prying, or any audible alarm.

• Any strange or unknown cars parked or running on the street or in a neighbor's driveway.

• Someone running from a house or location.

• Someone screaming or shouting for help.

"In addition, residents are reminded to keep all doors and windows to homes and vehicles locked," the crime alert stated. "If possible, park in well-lit areas and remove or store valuables out of plain view.

"The police division also strongly encourages residents to document and maintain records of serial numbers for personal belongings and valuables."

Anyone who witnesses a potential crime or has information about recent criminal activity in the community is asked to call Upper Arlington police at 614-583-5160.

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