Columbus police investigating dozens of recent burglaries

Thieves targeting garages, tool sheds

COLUMBUS, Ind. - Columbus police are trying to track down those responsible for dozens of residential burglaries in recent weeks.

Police have been getting as many as four reports a week for the last month and a half.

In one instance, a man walked into his garage to find someone else inside. The intruder had a suitcase full of the homeowner's stuff, and he was about to drive off with his motorcycle.

"Some of these sheds and garages are being broken into by forced entry, by people cutting the locks with bolt cutters," Lt. Matt Myers said.

A woman called authorities about two weeks ago after noticing three people walking near 15th and Pearl streets with bolt cutters in hand.

Police said they were trying to steal tools out of a mobile work trailer.

Just a few blocks north at 22nd and Pearl, Tara Angle believes she was close to becoming another victim after a neighbor saw someone trying to get into her garage.

"At first she thought maybe it was one of my kids, but it was 4 in the morning, so they are generally not up," Angle said. "He apparently couldn't get into our garage. She saw him kind of go off into the alley toward a neighbor's garage."

Police have praised homeowners for keeping a vigilant eye on neighborhood activity, and they hope that community effort continues.

"The police department can't solve these by ourselves, and the community can't handle it by themselves," Myers said. "We've got to work together."

Police say documenting belongings -- taking pictures of valuables and writing down the serial numbers -- can be a big help in stolen property cases.
 

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