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February 2011 minutes

German Village Police Luncheon - Thursday,February 24th; 12:30pm; German Village Meeting Haus

Unofficial Notes

Those Attending: Sixteen residents of the German Village & German Village Area plus seven Policemen from the Columbus Police Department (CPD) representing Precinct 11th - 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift

*A little about how the CDP is organized - the Southside is in Zone 2 & 5 - our area is in both Zone 2 & 5; we are all in Precinct 11 and the Southside is in Cruiser Precinct 111 & 113), Precinct 11 is staffed as follows: 1st shift - 6am-2pm (6 officers), 2nd shift - 2pm- 10pm (5 Officers) and 3rd shift - 10pm to 6am (11 Officers)

Items Discussed:

The Columbus Police Department (CDP) Opened the meeting by stating there was not much Criminal Activity to report this month.  The recent Criminal Activity Report revealed little activity.

The CDP did report they have had some success recently by arresting a man attempting to steal an Air Conditioner (AC) in the area.  Criminals are not usually taking the AC Unit, they are interested in the copper inside – The CPD is having success with residents that use “UV Blacklist Invisible Ink Security Markers”* on Air Conditioners in apprehending criminals; Anyone using the UV Blacklist Invisible Ink Security Markers are asked to mark your Driver’s License Number on the copper vs the AC Unit itself  (driver’s license or your home address is another way to identify the owner but Driver’s License was recommended).  Significant LOSS of parts taken from an AC is between $2-3,000.00.

*UV Blacklist Invisible Ink Security Markers can be used to mark all your valuables - inside and outside - They use high quality permanent invisible ink.  Perfect for identification marking TVs, PCs, and other stealthy security uses.  They Glow an incredible bright blue.  They are totally invisible, won't wash off and is visible under blacklight.  They are available on line from several vendors.

Criminals Driving, Walking, Biking with/with out Back Packs:

Residents were asked to report folks driving in alleys – that Stop-N-Go.  Residents were also alerted to young kids cruising the area on bicycles often times on their cell phones as they observe the neighborhood for possible Criminal acts.   Residents were asked to pay attention to possible Criminals with Back Packs or folks that just “don’t look right” in our area walking around our neighborhood – If you see suspicious activity, you are advised to call 645-4545 – the CPD can always talk to them and find out what they are up to - always call 911 if you have a police, fire, or medical emergency, or to report a crime in progress.

Pawn Shops, Game Shops, Cash for Gold and Scrap Yards:

The CPD informed residents Pawn Shops take IDs when they purchase TVs, PCs etc as required by law.  Game Shops that purchase Electronic Games are also required under the Pawn Shop Law to check IDs.    Scrap Yards are also required to take IDs, the problem is once they check the ID scrap metal is dumped and there is no tracking in place to connect the person with the items sold.  Thieves are also mashing and/or cutting up metal so you don’t know if it was an AC, Aluminum Siding or Gutters.  The CPD has several detectives assigned to Scrap Metal Yards with the support of Patrol Cars assigned – This new strategy is working well and has produced recent arrests.  “Cash for Gold” is either a mail in operation or jewelry shops will often purchase items for a fraction of the cost. Residents were told, there are more and more venues available for Criminals to sell their stolen items (ie – Craig’s List).  Local businesses report suspicious Criminal Activity and/or Criminal Activity on the CPD’s “Leads on Line” automated system.

Wrought Iron Gates:

Residents were informed recently east of the German Village Area, thieves are taking Wrought Iron Gates.  Residents were asked to be aware.

Plain Clothed Police and the “Well Dress Criminal”:

The CPD reported last night “plain clothed police” arrested two (2) males who were breaking into cars.  The thieves were clean cut and average looking.  The CDP relayed a story of a situation several years ago where a guy wearing a dress shirt and tie was stealing lawn mowers and selling them for $20 at the local Pawn Shop.

Parking Issues:

Residents were reminded, if there is a car parked a long time you are encouraged to call the CPD – a car must be moved every 72 hours.  Cars will be marked and towed it necessary.  Cars that block drive ways, close to intersections, block fire hydrants and several other reasons will be ticketed and/or towed at the owners expense.  If you have this problem on your street you are encouraged to call the CPD.

Community Crime Patrol:

The Community Crime Patrol is in the German Village Area on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays – they work from 2pm to 3am or 4am – there are usually 3 or 4 working – they work on foot or by bicycle

Suspicious Activity in the German Village area:

A German Village resident reported her neighbor noticed a bicyclist checking cars to see if they were unlocked.  It was also mentioned some criminals are also checking back gates to see if they are open. If you see suspicious activity, you are advised to call 645-4545 - always call 911 if you have a police, fire, or medical emergency, or to report a crime in progress.

Car Break Ins in Merion Village:

A resident of Merion Village reported they have had a number of car break ins – some cars had items visible and others had nothing.  A question was asked: Can Scrap Dealers be held accountable for purchasing items stolen? The CPD responded they have no way to charge them with and offense, often the metal is chopped up and it no longer resembles an AC part, aluminum siding or gutters.  When gutters are brought into a Scrap Yard, most individuals state they are rehabbing a house.  It becomes difficult to trace these items back to the owners.  If you see suspicious activity, you are advised to call 645-4545 - always call 911 if you have a police, fire, or medical emergency, or to report a crime in progress.

Ginther’s Place Meeting:

The CPC recently attended a meeting at Ginther’s Place (Ginther’s Place Civic Association is East of Parsons) where three (3) Scrap Metal Managers, Kroger’s and Giant Eagle representatives attended to discuss Criminal Activity in the area; The CPD discussed individuals using grocery carts from Kroger’s and/or Giant Eagle in the neighborhood transporting aluminum siding, gutters and scrap metal – In some cases these items are being stolen from VACANT Properties – About 3-4 weeks ago, the CPD stopped a male in a black pick up that was tampering with an AC – when they ran his ID, they found he had been to the Scrap Metal Yard 38 times – after a discussion with the individual, the driver of the pick-up truck has not been seen in the area again.  The CPD stated Grocery carts are NOT permitted on personal property.  The CPD stated when you see this activity, please contact the CPD  – they would be happy to stop and talk to the individual to find out what the situation is (the Columbus Police Department is sensitive to the fact some individuals use them for varies legitimate reasons); Always remember, If you see suspicious activity, you are advised to call 645-4545 - always call 911 if you have a police, fire, or medical emergency, or to report a crime in progress.

Basic Crime Reminders:

Good Lighting is always a deterrent - Leave your front porch light and/or back light on - Install motion sensor activated lights

Looking Out for your Neighbor is one of the BEST Neighborhood Crime Prevention - work with your neighbors to watch your area for suspicious activity - If you have a police, fire, or medical emergency, or to report a crime in progress call 911. If you need a police officer dispatched to a non-emergency situation, call 645-4545.

Crime Reports - CrimeReports® was developed by the Columbus Police Department it’s the only near real-time source giving you access to CRIME information in your neighborhood and all over the county.  Simply click the link below and enter your home address to see current CRIME in your neighborhood  It will provide you CRIMES reported the last three (3), seven (7), fourteen (14)  or thirty (30) days.   You can also choose crimes to include in your report and submit Crime Tips.  If you want to stay informed, you can join CrimeReports by signing up to receive their automatic Crime Alerts. http://www.crimereports.com

Meeting adjourned at 1:10pm


Next Meeting - Thursday, March 31st, 12:30pm, German Village Meeting Haus


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