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Published: Wednesday, 2/14/2007

Southview vehicle break-ins on the rise

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A rash of thefts from vehicles in the parking lots at Southview High School has prompted police to increase patrols.

Kevin Pooley, the school resource officer at Southview, has been authorized overtime to watch the parking lots more closely, said Community Affairs Sgt. Rick Schnoor with the Sylvania police.

In the last few days, several vehicles parked at the school and one at the nearby Sylvania Sports and Exhibition Center at Tam-O-Shanter across Sylvania Avenue have been broken into, Sergeant Schnoor said.

Drills, hammers, saws, stereos, a purse, basketball shoes, and other items were stolen after someone gained access to the vehicles by removing locks from the doors, he said.

Theft incidents in the school's parking lot along Sylvania Avenue have occurred at night, such as during basketball games, but the theft from the vehicle parked at Tam-O-Shanter happened in the afternoon in "broad daylight," Sergeant Schnoor noted.

If the culprit quickly pops out door locks, it's possible that passers-by wouldn't pay attention because it could look like the culprit was just unlocking a door, he said, and once inside, the thief could sit in the vehicle while looking for things to steal and not draw suspicion.

Police have no suspects in the recent thefts, he said.

Inside Southview High School, several thefts have occurred recently, and police and school officials are reminding students to keep valuables at home and to secure their lockers.

Officer Pooley, who has been conducting class presentations, talks to students to remind them to not take valuable items, such as electronic gadgets, to school.

Students are reminded, too, to put their names on their jackets, gym shoes, and other items so that recovered items can be returned to them.

Students also should write down and keep the serial numbers from valuable property, Sergeant Schnoor said.

Stolen items often are recovered in the school or at another school in the district, Sergeant Schnoor said.

For instance, a student stole an expensive coat and wore it to another high school where the coat's owner saw the girl, reported it, and was able to get her coat back because her name was in it.

Sometimes stolen property is found in vacant lockers. Stolen property tends to stay inside the school where students hide the items.

There isn't a fencing operation in the school where thieves can get rid of the stolen property by selling it, Sergeant Schnoor noted.

Nancy Crandell, spokesman for Sylvania Schools, said that thefts from vehicles occurred at night, not during school hours.

"We have monitors in the parking lot during the day," she said.

In separate incidents, several hundred dollars worth of shoes and sporting equipment were stolen from lockers inside Southview High School recently.

School officials are following up on those incidents, she said.

"Students are encouraged not to bring anything of value to school," she said, and the reminder is spelled out in the student handbook.



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