Police encouraged students to protect themselves and their belongings when off campus.
Students living off-campus have long been the target of thieves who troll parking lots, peeking into vehicles for valuables.
"They come over here because it's easy, easy targets over here," Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Scott Bray said.
Bray said that the thefts are often crimes of opportunity. Thieves look for unlocked doors and valuable in plain sight.
"They walk around with handheld flashlights," Bray said. "They can walk right up to your vehicle and shine their light in and in a matter of seconds enter through an unlocked vehicle or break in through your window and they can be in and out of your vehicle in a matter of seconds."
Bray said the best way to protect belongings is to assume a thief will get into your vehicle.
"Anticipate that someone will be in your vehicle, you have to remove all of your valuables," Bray said.
Police encouraged students to report any suspicious activity to authorities.
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