Cincy police want to get handle on increasing car break-ins

The Cincinnati Post is reporting that thefts from autos have jumped 3.5 percent in the first three months of 2005 over the same time period last year.

From the story:

    With thefts from auto break-ins up dramatically in downtown Cincinnati, police hope a forum for downtown parking lot owners later this month could help reverse the trend.

    Lt. Mike Neville, commander of the Downtown Services Unit, said he hopes the May 31 forum, to be held at Downtown Cincinnati Inc., 617 Vine St., attracts property owners, residents, representatives of the neighborhood resident council and others.

    "It's not truly an off-the-hook problem," Neville said. "But I don't want the image of Cincinnati tarnished in any way."
    Part of the message Neville wants to send is that he takes the thefts seriously.

    "These are something that I don't want to see ignored," he said.

    In addition to uniformed officers on the lookout for people who break into cars, the Police Department already has undercover cops trying to nab thieves.

    Part of the problem, Neville said, is that a car break-in takes only a couple of seconds - less if the car is unlocked.

    As part of the forum, Neville hopes to describe measures that have helped slow crime in other places, but he also plans to listen, he said.

    Police don't have all the answers, Neville said.

    "Tell me what you think we can do," he said.

The Post reports that the increase in thefts from cars came to light this week in the first quarter "State of the Downtown" report. Among concealed handgun license-holders, the report prompts still more concerns that a provision in Ohio's law which requires firearms to be stored in a locked container in "plain sight" if left in a vehicle is leading to increases in gun thefts. CHL-holders are often forced to leave their firearms in their cars outside locations posted as "no-guns" victims zones, creating easy pickings for criminals wishing to steal firearms.

Related Story:
One Critical After Polaris Area Shooting
COLUMBUS, Ohio - One man is in critical condition after being shot after leaving a bar, NBC 4 reported. A night of bar hopping in the Polaris area for a friend's birthday came to an abrupt end at 2:30 a.m. Saturday. After leaving a bar, a group of men saw two men trying to break into a car. They confronted them and chased them out to Lazarre Road. Minutes later, the men came back with a gun and one started firing at the group, NBC 4 reported. One man was wounded in the arm, another was shot in the chest, a witness said. One of the men who were fired upon said a bullet nearly missed his head. One man is in critical condition at Ohio State Medical Center and another is in fair condition at Riverside Hospital.

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