Mentor Police Investigating Van Burning, Car Thefts
Police warn people to lock their cars, hide their valuables if they're going to store them in their vehicle
Mentor Police are trying to find the person or people who torched a van in the 6200 block of Cedarwood Road Sunday morning.
Police and firefighters were called at 6:15 a.m. to the victim's home and they saw a 1999 Chevrolet Astro.
The fire completely gutted the van and even scorched a nearby basketball hoop and tree, Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said.
The owner of the van said he had just cleaned it and was preparing to sell it.
Police think the burnt van might be related to a series of thefts from cars in the same neighborhood that morning, Zbiegien said.
At least three unlocked cars, including one that belonged to the Astro's owner, had something stolen from it.
The thief -- or thieves, as the case may be -- stole spare change, CDs and electronics.
Zbiegien noted that all the cars that were targeted had been left unlocked.
"If people locked their cars, it would prevent more than half of thefts from vehicles," he said.
Zbiegien added that people should also keep their valuables out of sight if they are going to store them in their car.
Mentor Police ask that if you see a suspicious person or vehicle in your neighborhood, please call the police station at 440-974-5760.