Police are warning residents to be on alert after a mid-summer crime spike in a quiet central Ohio suburb.
In the last seven weeks Dublin Police report 23 burglaries from businesses and homes, and 28 thefts from vehicles. Thieves are making off with cell phones, computers, purses and wallets. Police say victims are making it too easy for criminals to spoil their summer.
Carmen Swain lives in Upper Arlington, but the sunshine and serenity of Scioto Park often draws her and her family to Dublin. "I love that it's more than just a playground. It incorporates a lot of nature," said Swain.
It's the last place she'd expect to have to worry about crime.
But three times in recent weeks, thieves have targeted park-goers there, breaking into their vehicles and making off with their belongings. "It's very disappointing," said Swain.
She admits, with all of the responsibilities of being a mom, securing her property sometimes slips her mind.
"It's crazy a lot of the times. We're like packing our lunch or running to the table or running to the potty. So it would be nice that if you left your car unlocked by accident that you wouldn't have to worry about something being stolen."
But Dublin Police say even busy moms don't have that luxury.
"Thieves are breaking out the car windows, if they have to,” said Dublin Police Sgt. Rodney Barnes. “Often the cars are left unlocked or windows are down, so people are making it quite easy for their property to be stolen."
Though the burglaries and break-ins are scattered around the community, from construction sites to small businesses, police say there are similarities in the crimes.
The burglaries are happening during three main times: early morning around 5 and 6 am, afternoon between 3 and 5 pm, and evening hours, 7pm to midnight. For vehicle thefts, afternoon is prime time, from 12-3 and around 5 to 6pm.
Police say now is the time to be alert, and report what you see.
"That's the biggest message to support our partnership with the community- is to call us if you see something suspicious,” said Barnes. “It's okay to be wrong. We'll show up, we'll check it out. Hopefully it's nothing. But you might just solve a crime or prevent a crime by that phone call."
In one of the recent cases, by the time the victim realized her purse had been stolen from her car, more than $100 in purchases had been charged to one of her credit cards.
You can find information to help keep your family safe on our Crimetracker 10 interactive crime map.