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Published: Wednesday, 9/11/2013

Rash of car break-ins plaguing Perrysburg

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A string of car break-ins during the Perrysburg High School football game were among nine thefts last weekend in Perrysburg.

Thefts are on the rise in Perrysburg, prompting  police to urge residents to lock their doors and keep valuables out of view in unoccupied cars.

Last weekend, six thefts were from vehicles and two were at apartments. One police report said a someone siphoned gas from two cars.

There were five reports of cars windows smashed in during last Friday night's football game at Perrysburg Junior High School and Perrysburg Masonic Lodge. Perrysburg Police Sgt. Pat McGuire said eight vehicles were broken into at the Masonic Lodge lot during the game.

"The hard part on Friday and Saturday nights is the population of the city grows, with everyone coming in on [for commercial areas on State Rts.] 20 and 25, and then the football game and added calls we have for service," Sergeant McGuire said. "We may have patrolmen there, but then, once [the drivers] leave, [the car] gets busted into."

In response to the car break-ins, and with no leads or suspects, Sergeant McGuire said the police likely start using unmarked police cars to try to catch suspects. "It is the only way to get on it," he said.

From the weekend incidents, one car had $460 taken from a Coach purse and a wallet with debit and credit cards taken. Another car had a black leather laptop bag taken with a Apple iPad, passport, and noise-canceling headphones. The items were valued at $1,300. 

"These are huge losses," Sergeant McGuire said. "I understand people don't want to bring these items to the game, but put them in the trunk or don't bring it. They aren't going to bust windows if they can't see anything."

The last few months of the year traditionally have a rise in thefts from cars, especially at commercial areas, but the recent flurry has been unusually high, he said. 

Scott Jechura had his GMC Sierra pick-up truck broken into Saturday night. Someone pried open the locked cap to the truck bed and stole a estimated $2,195 in construction equipment. Mr. Jechura, a carpenter, reported 16 items stolen, ranging from grinders to a screw gun, from the car parked in his driveway on Sixth Street.

"I've lived here for almost 30 years and have never seen anything like this," Mr. Jechura said. "I used to not even lock my car, but my neighbor told me about kids breaking into cars, so the last two years I've been locking up."

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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