Battling thefts in Groveport neighborhoods

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

In a recent month, there were 18 thefts and robberies and five burglaries reported to the Groveport Police.

“I have looked over the 18 reports, but I really cannot locate a pattern,” said Groveport Police Lt. Bary Murphy. “The thefts are all over town and run the gamut from ATM-debit card usage to theft of tennis shoes and shoplifting. One of the thefts, and all but one of the breaking and entering or burglaries, involve outbuildings or a vacant home.”

However, Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier said thefts, robberies, and burglaries are not on the rise in the city.

“This is typical this time of the year,” said Portier. “Most of the time we record thefts which include car break-ins, theft from porches and even credit card misuse – so it is not on the rise.”

Portier said incidents often take place in a mix of cars and homes.

“It changes on a month to month basis. Sadly, we cannot predict this,” said Portier, who added the crimes take place in both the day and night, but night time thefts usually occur more often due to the lesser chance of getting caught.

Portier said no neighborhood is immune from theft, but thefts are also more likely to happen in parking lots of schools and large stores where there is little to no security in place.

“No area is more susceptible, but any homes or businesses that do not take personal safety and their security seriously become easy targets,” said Portier.

When asked if State Route 317 provides a ready escape route for these kinds of criminals, Portier said, “Absolutely, but any road – Ebright, Main Street, Groveport Road, Wirt/Rohr – are also easy get away routes.”

As far who is committing the crimes, Portier said in some cases it is a family member. Other times clues are lacking.

Portier said Groveport Police officers remain vigilant.

“We continue to be visible but we are limited,” said Portier. “We simply cannot be in two places at the same time nor can we be in every neighborhood at the same time. Unmarked cars are being used and when reports of thefts in any area are made we will attempt to saturate the area.”

Portier offered the following steps citizens can take to help protect themselves from thefts, robberies, and burglaries:

•Keep doors to homes and vehicles locked. Never let people in to use your bathroom if you do not know them. Keep valuables and credit cards hidden from others. Always check your mail – if you are expecting something, follow up.  Be careful with Internet services asking for personal information.

•If you have family members who are under the influence of the drugs, remember they will steal from you.

•Use exterior lights, especially motion sensor lights.

•Consider doorbell video cameras – like RING (Ring.com).

•Watch your neighbors’ homes when they go out of town.

•Watch out for your neighbors.

•Cut out trees and shrubs that may help hide criminals.

•Keep your porch light on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This confuses criminals.

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