Cincinnati police offer home safety tips after string of Clifton burglaries

CINCINNATI – A recent string of burglaries in an area of Clifton has left residents of the neighborhood searching for answers.

Police are investigating several burglaries that have occurred in the 3200 block of Bishop Street over the past week. The majority of the offenses occurred during daytime hours while the residents have been at work or school, according to a release from the Cincinnati Police Department.

CPD officials said the preliminary investigation indicates juveniles are most likely responsible for these offenses.

“It definitely makes you want to say a little more aware of what you leave in your car,” said Jacob Hamblin, a junior at UC who lives in the area where the robberies have taken place. “You want to make sure you’re not a target.”

A native of Wooster, Ohio, Hamblin said the off-campus house that he currently calls home was broken into last school year before he moved in. However, he said he feels safe and credits living abroad for school with instilling him with that feeling.

“I learned to get around down there and a few bad things happening around me don’t bother me,” he said. “Clifton’s nice, I enjoy it.

District 5 police said they are committed to reducing crime and disorder in Clifton and have many resources and materials in place to help residents and property owners reduce their chances of victimization. However, they said the first step toward cutting down crime requires getting the community involved.

Hamblin said he feels safe in the area but at the same time tries his best to avoid doing what he called "stupid things."

“I try not to do stupid things that would make myself a target,” he said. "I don't leave expensive things in my car for one."

Hamblin also offered a few suggestions to people who live in the area.

“Make sure your car is locked, don’t keep any valuables in there and maybe keep a radio on so it seems like someone is inside the house, which the school suggests. I try to always leave a light on (in my house) as well.”

The university sent out a note to students in the area that advised them to take similar precautions. Some of those precautions include:

  1. Make sure all doors and windows are locked. Windows you may consider inaccessible may be used by juveniles.
  2. Use high-quality deadbolt locks on your doors. If you rent, talk with your landlord about getting one.
  3. Leave a radio playing to make your house/apartment seem occupied.
  4. Don’t leave a key hidden outside - burglars know all the places to look.
  5. Keep hedges trimmed back so police and your neighbors can see if someone attempts to enter your home.
  6. Look out for each other - call the police if you see suspicious activity at a neighbor’s house.

“I try to keep a light on and my radio on so people think I’m there. I think keeping a light on is a good idea,” Hamblin said.

His mother agrees, adding that she thinks the university is doing it all it can to deal with the situation.

“Well, it sounds like UC is doing a great job, they sent an email alert – he was quoting that to me when I was coming down here,” said Patty Hamblin. “It seems like the university is right on top of things.”

Jacob’s mother said she was nervous when she first learned of the perceived uptick in crime and violence in the community. But she credits the university and her son for doing their best to make sure their safe.

“It was a little offsetting when I first came to visit him, but I know he’s being very wise and alert, that eases my mind,” she said.“I trust that he’s taking care of it because it probably would make me nervous otherwise. I trust him."

If you would like further information or assistance, please contact Sergeant Jason Voelkerding, District Five Neighborhood Liaison Unit, at (513) 569-8506.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 513-352-3040. Callers can receive rewards for information leading to the arrest of suspects in crimes, and you can remain anonymous.

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