WADSWORTH, OH -- Police are “aggressively investigating” a rash of burglaries in a normally quiet neighborhood near Valleyview Elementary School in Wadsworth.
Multiple homes, garages and cars were broken into between Wednesday, August 7 and Thursday August 8.
Neighbors say it’s as if the thief or thieves just walked from house to house, looking for vulnerable doors and windows.
“It’s really scary, because we have a false sense of security, but something’s up,” said a woman named Kris.
She and other victims asked to only be referred to by their first names. Her car was rifled through. She says coins and her GPS unit were stolen.
Across the street, a neighbor’s house was actually entered and expensive electronics were stolen, including a couple iPads.
“His wife and 2 sons were home. His wife heard something, but they thought it was one of the boys getting up early,” said a neighbor named Mary.
Thousands of dollars in valuables have been stolen from more than a half dozen homes.
A woman named Vanessa said she forgot her purse inside her car, which was parked inside her closed garage. But in the morning, the purse, credit cards and gift cards were gone.
“Makes you a little leery. This is typically a very quiet neighborhood, very quiet street,” said Vanessa.
Police say they are relying on the public to be their ‘eyes and ears’ and to report any suspicious situations.
That is information the victimized neighborhood is taking to heart.
Neighbors say they are leaving their porch lights on and they’ve exchanged phone numbers. They are also keeping an eye out for one another’s property.
Police advise residents to report “unusual or unfamiliar vehicles, persons or activities” in their neighborhood.
People can contact the Wadsworth Police Department, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (330) 334-1511 (non-emergency) or at 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
Anonymous information regarding criminal activity or illicit drug activity can be left in a voice mail box at (330) 335-2769.
Here are some basic tips to prevent these types of crimes:
- Make your home look occupied and make it difficult to break in.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed.
- Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Don't allow daily deliveries of mail, newspapers or flyers to build up while you are away. Arrange with the Post Office to hold your mail, or arrange for a friend or neighbor to take them regularly.
- Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are going away for an extended time.
- Check your locks on doors and windows and replace them with secure devices as necessary.
- Push-button locks on doorknobs are easy for burglars to open. Install deadbolt locks on all your outside doors.
- Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Special locks are available for better security.
- Other windows may need better locks. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for alternatives.