Updated Wed, Apr 4, 2012 4:24 pm
Vandals and thieves have targeted at least three dozen vehicles on the north and east sides of Chillicothe in the past few days.
At least 25 vehicles within blocks of each other on the east side of the city had side mirrors shattered during the weekend.
Chillicothe police say they took reports of 11 vehicles damaged on East Water Street, eight on North Sugar Street, three on North McArthur Street, two on East Second Street and one on North Brownell Street.
Bud Lytle, crime prevention specialist at the Chillicothe Police Department, said most of the cars likely had their side mirror smashed between 11 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sunday. He said a motorcycle on Scioto Avenue was also turned upside down.
Police are also investigating 11 vehicle break-ins that happened within blocks of each other on the north side of the city. Thieves stole GPS units, cell phones, iPods, jewelry and other valuable items from the vehicles on Cedarwood Drive, Cheyenne Drive, Delaware Drive, Apache Drive and Rodgers Parkway. Lytle said the break-ins happened between 11 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday.
Lytle said Christopher W. Blazard, 28, of Pleasant Valley Road, is responsible for two of the break-ins. He is charged with two counts of receiving stolen property. While police cannot yet confirm if Blazard is responsible for the other nine break-ins, Lytle said he is the main suspect.
Police do not believe the same person is responsible for the east and north side incidents.
"The types of crimes are completely different," said Lytle. "With the crimes up north, the person broke into the windows of the vehicles. With the ones on the east side, it appeared that someone drove or walked down the street and knocked the mirrors off with no intent to enter the vehicles."
Police say they have collected blood from one of the vehicles and are seeking video footage from a surveillance camera posted in the same area of the damage.
To avoid having your vehicle vandalized, Lytle recommends parking your vehicle in a well-lit area whenever possible.
"The last thing criminals want is to have themselves exposed by lights at night," he said.
To dissuade thieves, Lytle said it's essential to keep your car door locked and to take your valuable items out of the car.
"Over 90 percent of our vehicle thefts happen when a car is not locked," he said. "It gives them more of a drive to break into your vehicle."