Investigators on Monday continued to investigate a string of crimes in a quiet Worthington neighborhood.
The State Fire Marshal’s office joined the investigation into the crimes, which include vandalism, theft and arson.
Neighbors said that they wanted to know who was behind the crimes to make sure they stopped before someone got hurt.
Perry Township Police Chief Robert Oppenheimer said that someone set fire to a pick-up truck full of paint in chemicals in a driveway on Clubview Boulevard South.
“This really could have turned into a disaster,” Oppenheimer said. “If our officer had not been driving by, found the fire, alerted the homeowners, took a garden hose to the fire to keep it under control until the fire department got there - that fire could have leaped from the cars to the house.”
The flames from the Sept. 1 fire damaged two vehicles and a fence, but no one was injured.
Oppenheimer said someone threw a rock through a vehicle’s windshield just down the street from the site of the fire the same morning.
At least three vehicles also were broken into, and garage door openers were stolen.
In at least two homes, the thieves opened garage doors and stole bicycles, Oppenheimer said.
Worthington Hills resident Sue Muenchow said that she was concerned about the string of crimes.
“It bothers me,” Muenchow said.
Resident Kate Whitesel, who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years, said that she fell victim to the thieves.
“Like most suburban neighborhoods, I suppose there are things that kids do that are ‘pranky,’ that I’ve heard about before, but this has gone over the top with the fire,” Whitesel said.
Renee Little, who has three young children, said that she hoped those who were responsible would face consequences.
“It opens our eyes and reminds us it can happen anywhere, and we need to be cautious, but I don’t think we need to be fearful and create some crazy atmosphere about it,” Little said.
All the incidents were contained to Sept. 1, Oppenheimer said.
Police said that they were following leads and have stepped up patrol in the neighborhood.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.