North College Hill Police Cheif Gary Foust.
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North College Hill Police Department issues a crime alert after multiple burglaries

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CINCINNATI - Police have issued a crime alert for North College Hill after multiple burglaries in the area.

The crimes share many similarities, including time of occurrence, location, method of entry and houses targeted, according to officials.

Police said the suspects have been getting in through back entrances of homes to steal items and ransack residences. Intentional flooding of the homes has been associated with these crimes.

"The thing we do know is both of them occurred between 2 or 3 in the afternoon," North College Hill Police Chief Gary Foust said. "We know the entry was gained by a rear sliding glass door and the second house, the individual that was home, actually heard [the suspect] and came downstairs and actually confronted the suspect. He was not inside the home, he was attempting to gain entry through the rear door and when he saw the homeowner that was home, he turned around and ran."

Foust said the homeowner described the suspect as a 14- to 15-year-old male that got away on foot.

The North College Hill Police Department is urging residents to take preventative measures necessary to insure their homes do not become a target for criminals.

"I think it's important to make people aware," Foust said. "I think a lot of times people become very lax and lazy with their habits and it's certainly a reminder, and I think we have a duty to inform and we have certainly taken a very proactive approach in doing that."

There are several tips the police department recommends:

  • Checking that windows and door locks are always latched
  • Double secure patio doors with a wedge (board or broom handle) in the track of the slider or a commercial grade security lock
  • Replace thumb turn door locks with keyed dead-bolt locking mechanisms
  • Verify that exterior lights are operational
  • Leave lights on in the interior of your residence when you are going to be away
  • If present, verify the operational condition of home intrusion alarm
  • Keep valuables concealed from viewing through windows
  • If owned, copy expensive personal electronic devices serial numbers and place them in a secure location
  • If firearms are present in the residence, keep them concealed and secured in a safe, or through the use of safety devices

"Crime is opportunity and anytime you can reduce that opportunity you can help suppress that crime," Foust said. "So I think people need to take a proactive approach in safeguarding their valuables and certainly their home, and it's important to do that."

Police are asking residents to call police if they see anything suspicious: (513) 521-7171

9 On Your Side reporter Tony Mirones contributed to this report.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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