Police News and Alerts
Daytime Burglaries

Many statistics show daytime burglaries are on the rise, and the City of Pataskala is experiencing this problem significantly. The majority of our daytime burglaries appear to happen between approximately 6 am to 10 am during weekdays. This is the time when many people are leaving for work and their homes are most vulnerable. However, anytime of day or week can also be the moment for a burglar depending on his or her opportunity, but highly vulnerable times are especially morning hours.
 
Burglars may often see a resident leave and take that chance to check if you locked your home. Burglars will also ring your doorbell or knock on the door to see if anyone is home, and if there is no answer then the burglars may check if the door is locked. If doors are locked then the burglars may use forceful entry with a pry-bar, crowbar, or physical means with their body. Unfortunately, if a home is not equipped with a home security system then burglars gain entry with little resistance and often unlimited time to complete the crime.
 
Because of the randomness of burglary locations and often obstructed visibility of homes, standard police patrols are sometimes ineffective preventative measures. However, to help improve burglary prevention area residents should pay close attention to suspicious subjects in their neighborhood. This is especially important if residents observe a person knock on the front door of a home and then walk to the back when nobody answers the door. 
 
If an unknown or suspicious person appears at your front door a burglar will likely excuse the situation for the wrong address or wrong name. If you experience this do not disregard the situation, please contact the non-emergency police phone number [(740) 927-5701] and report any details you gather. If you suspect someone is breaking into a home call 911.  Please know you do not bother the police when you contact us on suspicious activity.  If you call and we talk to someone before a person commits a crime then they will most likely go somewhere that neighbors do not pay attention.  If we get there after they committed a crime and find suspects on site, then there is better chance we can obtain evidence of the crime.
 
Vehicle Break-ins

Overnight vehicle break-ins are a continual crime problem throughout the City of Pataskala. Many victims of this crime simply overlook basic preventative measures to protect personal property, whether by accident or unlucky habit.  A high amount of thefts occur from people leaving their vehicles unlocked and valuables in plain sight.  Avoid keeping valuables in your vehicles, especially out in the open.  Items such as purses, book-bags, wallets, garage door openers, iPods, cell phones, and other electronics or valuables should always be taken inside with you.  Additionally, make sure your vehicles are locked and any exterior storage compartments are locked. 
 
While in public places avoid placing valuables in the trunk because people could be watching you. Avoid parking near trucks, vans, dumpsters, and other areas that obstruct visibility and create hiding places for criminals. In addition, avoid parking near occupied vehicles and always activate your vehicle's security system if it is equipped. 
 
E-mail Fraud and Internet Scams

Internet crimes are a growing concern for law enforcement agencies nationwide. The methods and innovation used by cyber-criminals are becoming more convincing and practical, which creates enormous risk to Internet users. Internet crimes lead to identity theft, credit card fraud, advance fee fraud, and endless other crimes depending on the creativity of the cyber-criminal. 
 
Internet crimes may begin with an unexpectedly harmful e-mail that distributes fraudulent messages to Internet users. Because e-mail is an inexpensive and largely untraceable, in terms of identity tracking, method for facilitating cyber-crimes it remains popular among criminals. Some e-mail messages appear to come from a legitimate organization or institution, such as your bank or employer. Oftentimes these messages ask you to verify or update your personal information. Never respond to any message that asks you to provide personal information, if you have doubt or suspicion contact the corresponding party or the police department for verification. 
 
Fraudulent e-mails may also appear from known people such as friends, family, or co-workers that ask you to send cash or money orders for various reasons. E-mail accounts can be hacked which exploits the names and e-mail addresses of the people stored in the account address book, which allows cyber-criminals to send fraudulent e-mails to potential victims. Again, be weary of abnormal e-mails from familiar people, and make strong efforts to verify the legitimacy. If a familiar person asks you to send emergency money via an e-mail message then think reasonably and objectively about the context. In addition, pay close attention to spelling and grammar of e-mails as they may reveal flaws to the cyber-criminal's involvement.
 
Advance fee fraud occurs when cyber-criminals disguise e-mail contacts in online sales or auctions, such as Craigslist or E-bay. The user may discover a deal within the online sales Website, however, the seller's information is fraudulent and the actual sales item does not normally exist either. In addition, these deals are often attractive to buyers for various reasons which prompt the communication with the cyber-criminal. The seller's contact link typically refers the user to a different communication channel, Web-link, or e-mail address. Be weary of off-site communication with sellers and the information they ask you to provide. Never respond to any message that asks you to send advance fees for any reason, nor should you wire transfer money as this is very common for cyber-criminals to victimize you. Always remember, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. 
 
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