COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – More than 40 cars were broken into in less than two weeks, all not far from John Glenn International Airport.
Columbus police are now trying to find out who’s responsible and stop the trend.
In all of 2021, Columbus police said there were about 6,000 times belongings were stolen from cars in the city. Just seven months into 2022, police said it has already happened more than 5,600 times.
“This is an embarrassment for the city of Columbus, to have somebody treat visitors to our city this way and to break into their cars,” said Columbus Division of Police Cmdr. Duane Mabry.
Ten cars were broken into in one night, all parked in two hotel lots on Airport Drive. Mabry said this most recent round of car break-ins has 11 victims from six different states.
“If you’re coming here to Columbus, you now have the impression this is how Columbus is when you go back home,” Mabry said. “This is a story you’re telling your family, your friends, and that’s unacceptable to us.”
According to police reports, the crimes happened sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Monday. Mabry said some of the cars had their windows broken and others also had belongings stolen.
“One of these vehicles was a work vehicle,” he said. “This person is trying to make a living off of their vehicle and now it’s been broken into, and items been stolen out of it.”
Last week, in a business parking lot also near John Glenn International Airport, more than 30 cars were broken into and some guns were stolen. Mabry said no guns were stolen out of Monday’s incidents.
“That doesn’t do anything for the victims of the situation who have had their cars damaged,” he said. “They now have to file insurance claims, and then they have to finish the rest of their business here, whether it’s for work or pleasure and it looks like we have a little bit of a mix here.”
Thefts from cars are on pace to break last year’s total and Mabry said the numbers are particularly up in the area from the airport up toward Morse Road.
“What we’re seeing is a lot more of our youth trying to break into cars to try to find guns to commit other crimes and so it’s something we’re trying to stay on top of,” Mabry said.
Police are hoping to get surveillance video from the most recent break-ins soon. Mabry suggests not leaving anything valuable inside your cars when you park them.