GENOA TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WCMH) – The Genoa Township Police Department is reminding people to lock their cars and remove their valuables after at least 10 people had things stolen from their cars overnight Monday into Tuesday.
In most of the cases, the cars were parked outside and in almost all of them, their doors were left unlocked, according to police.
“It’s a crime of opportunity when they can just go by and pull on the handle and open that vehicle and take the possessions in there,” said Genoa Police Lt. James McMillin. “It makes it easier for the crooks. They can be in a lot quieter and a lot quicker with that.”
The crimes happened in the Highland Lakes area. In some cases, thieves used garage door openers from unopened cars to get into garages and steal more.
“The message would be to secure your valuables, to lock your cars, remove your keys, shut your garage doors and take precautions against people who want to steal and do property crime,” McMillin said.
Lori Silvestri’s car was not broken into, but she lives in the same neighborhood where the crimes happened. She said she’s going to start taking the precautions more seriously.
“It’s very concerning because we’ve been here for so long and this is the first I’ve really heard of that type of situation being so close to home,” she said. “I need to take more precautions in locking the car doors and being aware this type of thing can happen in our own neighborhood.”
Police shared some surveillance video of the break-ins, showing three people entering a garage and at least one of them opening a car door and then looking at some things, then closing the door.
Genoa Police Chief Steve Gammill wrote the following on Facebook.
“I have said this countless times but it’s like the line from the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come”. For the thieves the mantra is, “If you keep leaving your cars unlocked with keys and valuables inside we will come”. Please help us prevent crime by taking those items out of your car and locking it.”
Anyone with information or video which could help the investigation is asked to contact Genoa police at (614) 568-2060.