Smash-and-grab thief apparently targeting cars at Goddard Schools

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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (WJW) — A smash-and-grab thief on a cross county crime spree has struck again.

Police confirm there was an attempted break-in at the Goddard School in Strongsville Thursday morning, and successful car break-ins at Goddard Schools in Macedonia, Twinsburg and Independence over the past few days.

The fast and brazen thief strikes during the busiest time of day, as parents are dropping off their children in the morning.

Within five minutes Wednesday morning, the suspect hit two cars in the parking lot at the Goddard School in Independence, located at 5701 Lombardo Center Blvd.

“I unloaded everything, it was about 8:35 a.m. I got back to my car at 8:40 a.m. and my window had been smashed and purse had been stolen,” said one of the moms who asked not to be identified, “I was in a little bit of shock and noticed another mom on her phone and she got hit too.”

The thief got away with both women’s purses, wallets, credit cards, cellphones and other belongings.

“Right around the holidays having to cancel all your cards and bank accounts…It’s a shame,” said the young mother, “I had an asthma inhaler in there too that I had to get replaced.”

A representative of the Goddard School in Macedonia released images of the suspect’s vehicle, which appears to be a newer model white Jeep Compass that’s been spotted at all of the locations.

And it isn’t just happening at the schools. Hudson police told Fox 8 News that they’ve had almost identical car break-ins at several businesses.

Police are asking anyone with information about the suspect to give them a call. They’re also warning people to be vigilant with their belongings inside of their vehicles.

They say you should never leave anything out in the open or on the seat, even if the vehicle is locked and you’re only getting out for a few minutes.

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