WESTERVILLE (WCMH) — While residents in Westerville were planning their Fourth of July holiday, thieves were breaking into vehicles and getting away with valuable in the middle of the night.
Westerville Police are asking residents to make sure their car doors are locked and valuables are out of plain sight, making them less of a target for thieves.
Residents living in the Olde Mill and Annehurst neighborhoods of Westerville are on high alert after multiple vehicles were broken into July 3.
“It was late at night,” said resident Josh Palmer. “I heard an alert on my phone, looked at my phone nest app letting me know that there was activity in the front yard.”
Palmer said he was near seconds away from being a victim of a vehicle break-in if it wasn’t for the floodlights outside his home scaring off the thieves.
In home surveillance video shared by Palmer, two teenagers can be seen walking in the street. One of the teens can be seen walking over to Palmer’s black pick-up truck and pulls on the door handle. The other suspect is seen checking out a car across the street.
In the video, the outside lights on Palmer’s home come up and the two suspects are seen walking away.
“I put a notification on our local Facebook group,” Palmer said.
The post spurred several responses, alerting Palmer to the fact his vehicle wasn’t the only one the thieves attempted to break into that night.
“The Facebook group on the thread that I started, by the next morning, there were maybe 30 comments saying, ‘My door was open the next morning. They stole some cash out my car,'” he said.
Westerville Police said 14 cars were reportedly broken into that night.
The suspects took loose change, a cellphone charger, and, in one case, $400 and a credit card, police said.
“Any time that you are parking your vehicle outside, you need to make sure you take all the valuables out of it, make sure it’s locked,” said Westerville Police Lt. Tracey Myers. “Double check with the remote one more time. Make sure it beeps.”
Police are asking anyone with information or surveillance video from the night of the incidents to contact Westerville Police.