Thefts from vehicles spike in Beavercreek and Greene County

Police agencies and the sheriff’s office are working to solve a recent spike in thefts from vehicles in the Beavercreek area and other Greene County communities.

Authorities are saying that, in most cases, the cars were left unlocked and parked in driveways.

“It was still so disturbing,” said Julie Jackson, recalling the knock on her door by a sheriff’s deputy at 1:30 a.m. one day.

Multiple cars on Jackson’s quiet suburban street off Fairground Road, including hers, had been rifled through at night by unknown perpetrators. Jackson said it was the second time in two years their vehicles had been targeted by thieves.

“To have a nice quiet neighborhood like this with great people who go to work every day and take care of their business, to be terrorized and have to worry about letting their dog out at night, it’s upsetting. It’s disturbing,” said Darlene Clinger, a Beavercreek Twp. resident.

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The sheriff’s office has received more than 30 reports of thefts from vehicles over the past two weeks, and that number does not reflect reports taken by other agencies, including Beavercreek and Jamestown police departments, according to Capt. David Tidd.

The uptick prompted a sheriff’s office advisory Thursday morning that states “Most victim vehicles were left unlocked.”

“Just locking their cars would deter most of the thefts,” Tidd said. “We have not taken any complaints where windows were broken out or doors forced open.”

Beavercreek police are investigating 21 incidents of thefts from vehicles that have been reported since Sept. 1, according to Capt. Chad Lindsey.

“It is believed that multiple people are involved, but it is unknown if any of the thefts were committed by the same group or a different group each time,” Lindsey said.

Stolen items included purses, computer equipment and prescription medications, according to Lindsey.

In some incidents, gasoline was siphoned away and catalytic converters were cut off, Lindsey said.

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“You just never think it’s going to be you,” said Clinger, who got a knock on her door at 2 a.m. one day about a theft. Someone had gone through her car, which was parked next to the house down a long driveway. Some loose change and a GPS unit was missing.

Clinger said she and her husband are “much more vigilant” since the crime.

“We double-check everything now,” she said. “We’ll be installing outdoor video as well … We already have security but we’ll be adding more.”

To report suspicious activity in a Greene County neighborhood, call the local police or the county’s dispatch center at (937) 376-5111.

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