SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) - Police in several southern Mahoning County communities are looking for whoever is behind the most recent wave of car break-ins.
In Springfield Township, police received nine reports involving more than a dozen vehicles, all thought to have occurred between midnight and dawn Tuesday morning. In nearby Poland Township, there have been nearly two dozen vehicles broken into over the past few weeks.
In all of them, the vehicles were outside and unlocked, with the thieves focusing on loose change and cash.
“Just lock your doors at night and these guys, or girls, whatever they may be, they will just keep moving on until they find the unlocked doors and that is the one they are going to go into,” Springfield Township patrolman Jeff Williams said. “In this rash, they left behind a lot of things that were of value that they just couldn’t carry or get rid of easily.”
In addition to the vehicle break-ins, eight different lockers also were broken into at a self-storage business off U.S. Route 224 and Clingan Road.
“We had a trailer with an ATV on it, different types of lawn equipment that they had put in there, snow removal equipment, they switch out stuff like that,” Poland Township Police Chief Brian Goodin said.
While officers were taking calls all day long on Tuesday, they believe many victims do not bother to file a police report, thinking the amount taken is too small. Investigators are urging all victims to make a complaint, hoping they will come up with information that will lead to an arrest.
Police said it is not easy to identify suspects, even if surveillance cameras are in place.
“We get pictures sent out to us from video cameras. The cameras are usually up in the air pointing down, so you’re catching the top view with the hat on. If there’s any way that you can get the camera view at a 6-foot or 7-foot level, catching face on, we may have a better shot of recognizing that person,” Goodin said.
Although no suspects have been identified, Goodin suspects the thieves are adults, not kids.
“Some of the groups we have been catching in the past are 30, 40 years old, and again, it is supplying a drug habit,” he said.