Three suspects have been arrested in connection to a series of vehicle break-ins at the Westerville Sports Complex.

Three suspects have been arrested in connection to a series of vehicle break-ins at the Westerville Sports Complex.

Arrested and charged with attempted theft and criminal damaging on June 18 were two male juveniles, one a student at Northland High School, the other a student at Brookhaven High School, and Abdikadir Mohamed, 20, of 3189 Agape Drive, Columbus, according to Westerville Division of Police Detective Tim Ray.

According to information provided by the division, detectives set up a surveillance operation at the Westerville Sports Complex, 325 N. Cleveland Ave., earlier this month and observed someone throwing a spark plug at the window of an SUV at 1:36 p.m. The three suspects were arrested at that time.

Ray said that the division has received reports of 11 vehicle break-ins at the complex since April. An investigation into the thefts is ongoing, and the division is seeking information on a vehicle seen at the sports complex.

"We're looking for a gold or tan Toyota Camry that's been involved in two of the most recent thefts we've had," Ray said. "We've seen two male Somalis, and possibly a third, who were driving the Camry, in addition to the three who have already been arrested."

Ray said the division believes groups of men are working in teams to target vehicles at the sports complex.

"What they do is they work in teams, we're thinking usually a minimum of three to a vehicle," Ray said. "One will get out and walk around the (targeted) vehicle, the others will keep watch, and then the others join the first to block anyone's view of what's going on. They're usually going for parts of the park that don't see much foot traffic."

Ray said the men were released pending a court summons.

He added that anyone with additional information regarding the break-ins can call the Westerville Division of Police at either 614-882-7444, the anonymous tip line at 614-901-6866, or on the Web at tipline@westerville.org.

lrice@thisweeknews.com