3 Columbus neighborhoods face spike in robberies

File Photo - Columbus Police (WBNS-10TV)

The Hilltop neighborhood in west Columbus is one of three neighborhoods that faced a significant spike in reported robberies during a two-week reporting period in July.

Police records reveal officers investigated 16 robberies on the Hilltop between July 10 and July 23, 2018. It's a 161-percent over the bi-weekly average for that neighborhood.

One of the most disturbing attacks was reported just after 7 a.m. on July 26 in the 200-block of South Harris Avenue. An 80-year old victim told police a man ripped his wallet right out of his pocket.

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The victim said when he tried to take his wallet back, the suspect pushed him down on the concrete.

"I was appalled. It was appalling. No excuse for that" said south Central Hilltop Blockwatch President Lisa Boggs.

She said it's not uncommon to hear about a handful of robberies in the Hilltop community.

"But not to this magnitude. It's concerning," she said.

The spike in robberies isn't isolated to the west side. During the second half of July, police investigated four robberies in the Clintonville area.

The number is low, but still, it's a nearly 200-percent increase over the average number of reports there.

Columbus police are investigating a similar spike in robberies in the area near the Ohio State University campus.

Police say it's difficult to explain the increase in the number of robberies, but say you can make safety choices to help keep yourself from becoming a victim.

Police say if you notice anyone who is behaving suspiciously and causes you to feel uneasy or threatened, call police immediately.

Officers can approach the person to find out if they have a legitimate reason to be lurking in your neighborhood.

Police say when you're engaged in an activity, like pumping gas, remain alert and watch for anyone approaching you.

Police say whenever possible, always use the buddy system because a criminal is far more likely to prey on someone who is alone.

Lisa Boggs said she's encouraging people who live in the Hilltop to go outside to see and be seen.

"It shows that we're not going to take this," said Boggs.