Blockwatches help end Westgate crime spree
Officer Ken Ramos, has a message for the residents of Westgate, “Shut your windows.”
Thanks to the quick action of local blockwatches, that message was heard loud and clear.
Ramos, a community liaison officer with the Columbus Division of Police, recently ran a crime analysis on the Westgate area and discovered a pattern.
Within a 45 day period, 22 burglaries occurred, and 10 of those burglaries began with an open window.
In those 10 incidents, the perpetrator found an open window, cut the screen, and entered the home.
“He didn’t break open a door or anything,” said Ramos.
“Ten break-ins, all using the screen, in that small of an area - that’s a lot” Ramos added.
According to Ramos, those types of crimes tend to increase as the weather cools.
Residents turn off air conditioning and open windows, welcoming the cool air during night hours.
As soon as Ramos received the analysis, he forwarded the information to blockwatch leaders in the area, who passed it along to neighbors.
“I’m impressed and proud of my blockwatches,” said Ramos. “It’s amazing how fast the word got out.”
Ramos commends the blockwatch captains for using all communication methods available to get the word out.
According to an e-mail from Sgt. Joseph Horton dated Oct. 1, two of the three Westgate suspects have been apprehended.
“Lots of times with this type of crime, it will occur a couple of days apart and always a couple of streets away.” said Ramos. “They’re far enough apart that the neighbors wouldn’t know each other and talk.”
I can almost guarantee that everyone that saw that e-mail closed their windows that night,” he added.