Columbus police are searching for a thief who they believe may be responsible for a string of car break-ins on and near the Ohio State campus.
Columbus Police said the suspected car thief got away this morning near the intersection of East Norwich and North High Street in the northern part of campus.
Police said they've seen an increase in car break-ins in the area and they believe they may be connected to students moving back to campus.
OSU student Vito Gironda said his car was locked and parked in front of his apartment when someone silently smashed his window and pried his dash board GPS out of his car.
"The front passenger window was smashed in. The stereo was removed and the rear speakers as well," Gironda said. "Just surprised that they had the time to get away with everything."
His car insurance took a hit too.
"The insurance claim just came in at 2200," he said.
Police suspect his car, and a lot of others parked in the northern campus area, may have been hit by either one person or a criminal gang.
Detectives said the hardest hit areas include: Indianola, Norwich, Northwood, Patterson, Adams and Walendeck.
"It's of great concern to us because this area has a lot of cars and we want to make sure that people are leaving their valuable in plain view," said Columbus Division of Police Sergeant Elrico Alli.
Police said they nearly caught a suspect Monday morning near East Norwich and High Street.
"We saw him on a bike circling cars and looking into cars," Sgt. Alli said.
Officers said when they attempted to to stop him for questioning, he peddled away before ditching the bike. He then took off on foot to escape from police. Officers did recover his bike and his hat.
Vito Gironda said he has since bought a car alarm and has a piece of advice for others who park their cars in the northern part of campus.
"Hide your valuables," Gironda said.