Blockwatch Beat: Your Westside resource

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The weather outside may be getting colder, but the chill in the air won’t stop the criminals.

The theft of metal from homes is on the rise on the Westside and elsewhere.  Westgate alone has had at least three houses broken into and the copper plumbing stripped as well as homes with downspouts and gutters removed in the past month. 

Metal theft is a big problem everywhere but there are some ways to make sure you are not a victim. If you are selling a home and no longer live in it, make sure that your neighbors know where to reach you in case of a problem with the empty home. 

Keep lights on a timer, the grass mowed or snow shoveled, and if you are able, drive by at least once a day and check on the home. Please make sure that you report any suspicious vehicles driving around slowly or repeatedly circling your block to  645-4545, the radio room for the Columbus Division of Police. License plate numbers and vehicle descriptions are helpful to have on hand when making your call. 

It is also important to remember that most of our crime is the crime of opportunity. People walk our streets everyday just looking for the careless resident who left the screen door unlocked or the shades open, advertising all that is within the home.

Another common practice exercised by would-be criminals is walking and checking car door handles. Is yours open? If it is, they will take whatever they can. The flip side is that by leaving a car door unlocked with nothing inside, they at least don’t break a window to gain access. 

We have a wonderful community and neighborhood but it is important to remember that as idyllic as it is, we still live in the city. A little common sense will go a long way to keeping your home safe and crime free.

Blockwatches are a great way to help cut down on crime and increase a sense of community. Make a resolution for 2008 to start one or become involved in one in your neighborhood.

Have a safe and excellent New Year’s Eve!

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