Columbus police report string of car thefts at volleyball hangouts

Columbus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus police are looking for help tracking down a group of people accused of stealing cars from volleyball hangout spots.

The crimes were caught on surveillance video.

One woman is heartbroken over what happened, and it’s not about the car. Jamie Hicks was playing in a charity volleyball tournament the day her Jeep was stolen, and she said it’s what was inside the car that is invaluable and can never be replaced.

“It was definitely invasive,” she said. “I was panicked at first. We went out to the parking lot and when we realized my car was gone, anger set in and I was just devastated.”

Hicks was playing volleyball for charity at Flannagan’s in Dublin on June 12 when her car was stolen. Surveillance video caught the thieves on camera, showing a person taking the keys off a table.

“Those belongings included the urns and ashes of two of my very beloved dogs that had passed recently,” Hicks said.

In the past week, police said they’ve had five reports of stolen cars at volleyball hangouts like Flannagan’s, Volleypark and Woodland.

“For somebody to take that trust, violate our community, it’s maddening,” Hicks said. “There’s no other word, it’s maddening. We’re out there to have a good time, and something like this happens and it just ruins it.”

Hicks said she’s hoping her white Jeep Patriot will turn up, but more than that, she’s hoping her pets’ ashes can be recovered.

“To try to find it in their heart to do the right thing and to at least give my dogs ashes back,” Hicks said. “I’m sure they’ve already ditched them on the side of the road, but some things can’t be replaced.”

Another theft victim — who didn’t want to be named due to privacy concerns because of the items taken from her vehicle, which has been recovered — said the theft left her feeing violated and disturbed.

Columbus Police are asking if you recognize anyone in the surveillance footage to call Det. Bruce Beard at 614-645-2091 or bbeard@columbuspolice.org. You can also call Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS.

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