The monthly German Village Society and 11th Precinct Police Luncheon was held March 29, 2012 at the GV Meeting Haus. There were eight officers and about a dozen neighbors in attendance.
The big topic of the day was metal thefts, as several residents have reported through CyberBlockWatch.com that their wrought-iron gates have gone missing. Click to read the entire post, including neighborhood, time, date and other important details ... http://www.cyberblockwatch.com/2012/04/stolen-gate/
The officers said metal thefts are very common when wholesale metal prices rise. Officers said they often investigate the theft of air-conditioning units when metal prices rise – and while that unit costs $10,000-$15,000 to purchase, the thieves get about $80 for the metal contained in it at a scrap yard.
The officers outlined Columbus's toughest-in-the-state regulation of scrap-metal dealers. City Code 550 requires scrapper to check their metal sellers against a no-buy list. Someone convicted of theft, for instance, will end up on the no-buy list and then can't sell at scrap yards in Columbus. Scrap yard operators also must collect a thumb print and check it against online databases. Sellers can only sell one catalytic converter per day per scrap yard with Columbus city limits.
However, officers pointed out, it doesn't take much for a thief to drive to another nearby town to sell outside of those rules. So to protect yourself and your belongings, officers recommend securing metal items by tying down your AC unit and working with a welder to secure iron gates.
Other topics for discussion:
- After any crime, a crime lab technician will collect evidence, including fingerprints and DNA samples within 24 – 72 hours. Crimes against a person take top priority over property crimes.
- Privately owned security cameras are OK as long as they are aimed and focused on the owners' property or public property. They make great evidence, but it is recommended you get a recorder that records more than 24 hours at a time so that you can go back and review later.
- There are currently three surveilance cameras on Whittier that can be controlled by the CPD.
- The 'Castle rule' was discussed. If someone comes into your home you have the right to defend yourself. Always call the police, the burden of proof is not on you.
- Remember that property can be replaced but not you or a loved one. Always be cautions and safe and report to the police any suspicious activity or incidents.
- LIGHTING is always a great deterrant. Try motion lights or lights that brighten as you approach. TURN ON YOUR PORCH LIGHTS. Set them on a timer so you don't have to worry about them, but replace burnt bulbs right away.
- AC units still in high demand. Mostly commercial properties like churches and small businesses, recently in Merion Village.
- Recent Craig's List scam discussed. Neighbor received a fishy inquiry on appliances they were selling. Buyer sent a check for $2,450 instead of the $250 agreed along with a long drawn out message how "they were having a driver pick up the appliances and the extra money was to pay the driver". They were adamant about personal information, trying to get home address, phone number, etc. This neighbor had the check mailed to the GV Meeting Haus, rather than their home address. CPD say be wary of Craig's List, never give out any personal information and always have someone with you when meeting anyone on Craig's List.
This month's Police Luncheon was sponsored in part by Juergens Bakery und Restaurant.
Next Police Luncheon will be Thursday, April 26th, 2012.