“Very upsetting,” Playhouse Square residents react to a string of car break-ins in downtown Cleveland.

An arrest was made and other suspects were identified after a string of car break-ins in downtown Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police have made one arrest and identified other suspects after an increase in car break-ins in downtown.

Justin School lives in an apartment in the Hanna Building in Playhouse Square and pays to park his car in a separate private parking lot that does not belong to his building, off Prospect Avenue East. On December 19, he went outside and found that his car had been broken into.

It didn’t stop there; On Christmas morning, the School found that his rental car, his girlfriend’s car, and once again his car had been broken into, windows smashed, glass scattered all over the place. He said other cars parked around him were also broken into.

“Great gift,” he said of his Christmas surprise. — I got the coal that morning.

Now Shkul said that he would have to wait about a month for his car to be repaired, and he did not foresee the costs.

“Even though insurance covers it, I have over $1,500 in deductibles that I have to pay and I won’t be using my car for a month, and neither will my girlfriend,” he said. “You know, not enough parts, not enough people to work on it, all that stuff.”

Despite the damage done, Shkul said he knew other people were worse off. However, the hacks were upset.

“It’s very frustrating,” he said. “You know, I just want to exist. I just want to go to work, come home, that’s all. It interferes.”

The school is not the only one experiencing these frustrations. Jibril Hazley lives in the same building and parks on the same private plot of land. His new car was broken into on Monday, leaving him to deal with thousands of dollars in damage.

“Very annoying, man,” Hasley said. “It’s very sad and it’s costing people a lot of money.”

Hazley said he heard of 15 other car break-ins in the area, while Shkul said he heard of 20.

That range is also something the Downtown Cleveland Alliance is aware of, though Ed Eckart, senior vice president of operations, said the number could be higher if people don’t report every break-in. He also said break-ins could be “regularly sporadic”, with some nights not having any and other nights having multiple incidents.

“It is important to report these crimes so that the Cleveland Police Department can then determine if there is a pattern? Are there times of the day or days of the week when this happens?” Eckart said. “And the more information they have, the more it helps them in their investigative process, as well as in the prosecutor’s office.”

The Downtown Cleveland Alliance has reached out to downtown stakeholders such as the school and the Hazley apartment building for an update on the break-ins.

Eckart said these break-ins and car thefts have been taking place downtown over the past three weeks on surface lots and garages. He recommended that residents and visitors be aware of any suspicious behavior, such as people lingering at parking lots or garage entrances. Eckart suggested reporting any suspicious behavior to the police.

He also suggested having a parking plan if you are visiting the city center and see exactly where you will be parking.

“Take the time to look at the various downtown parking spots,” he said. “Check if there is an attendant in the parking lot that I am going to use? Is the area lit?

Eckart advised people to keep their personal belongings and possessions at home rather than in the car. He also said that guns are often looked for when people break into cars.

“These little things can go a long way in reducing or eliminating anyone who is a victim,” he said.

3News contacted K&D Management, LLC, the company that manages the residences at Hanna. 3News reported that they have “cameras and security at all of our lots and garages.” In addition, Hanna’s precinct has “motion lights”, cameras, and guards to conduct rounds.

3News also contacted the Cleveland police, who said the number of cars broken into was approaching 10. According to the police, one suspect has been arrested and other suspects have been identified.

Eckart said the Downtown Cleveland Alliance can answer calls on 216.621.6000 from 7:00 am to midnight every day and can provide safe escorts downtown, and can also help with vehicle lockdowns, as well as gas and battery issues.

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