Gahanna police are offering tips to residents in hopes of preventing thefts from vehicles, after a recent spike in activity.

"Typically, this time of the year is cold, but because of the warmer weather, we've seen a spike in theft, particularly in car break-ins," Gahanna police Lt. Tom Basso said.

"If thieves are rummaging through cars, they are looking for items of interest or value to them."

Recent Gahanna police reports have shown an increase in thefts from vehicles. In some instances, the vehicle was rummaged through but nothing was taken.

"If someone goes through your car and nothing is taken, and you don't report it, then we are unaware there is an issue, and we are unable to devote resources to solving the problem," said Dennis Murphy, Gahanna police chief.

Basso said the biggest attraction for thieves are personal belongings in plain view, such as bags, purses, shopping bags, loose change, computers and cellphones.

In one example, a purse was stolen from a vehicle in the parking lot of a business in the 800 block of Morrison Road at 8:09 p.m. Feb. 16, according to reports.

In another incident, cash was stolen from two unlocked vehicles on Caro Lane between 11 p.m. Feb. 21 and 6:30 a.m. Feb. 22, according to a report received at 6:43 a.m. Feb. 22.

Basso said Gahanna police advise against leaving vehicles unlocked.

He said residents are encouraged not to leave personal items in plain sight.

Basso also advises residents to park vehicles in garages, if they have access to one, and to close the garage door.

Additionally, he said, cars should be parked in well-lit areas and all personal items should be removed.

Murphy said he recently purchased a solar panel LED motion activated security light to illuminate the outside of his residence.

He said it's a great option, and it works.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla