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Police catch two men linked to 30 car break-ins

Police arrested two men this week in connection to a string of 30 car break-ins in the last three weeks.

At about 5 a.m. Wednesday, Ohio State Police officers arrested Sean McCoy after he allegedly broke into a car in the Safeauto Parking Garage at the OSU Medical Center.

Hospital security and police had been remotely watching McCoy when they noticed him suspiciously walking around the garage, police said. He reportedly used a ground-up spark plug to shatter a car’s window. He was charged with criminal damaging and theft.

OSU Police officers arrested Brian Schwarz, 26, after police said he broke into a car in the North Arena Parking Lot at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Officers arrested him on the south side of St. John Arena after a brief foot chase, said Capt. Eric Whiteside of OSU Police.

Police found several GPS units, power cords, headphones and loose change in Schwarz’s backpack.

He was charged with theft, obstructing official business, criminal damaging ­­— for reportedly breaking the lock on a car door ­— and possessing criminal tools.

Schwarz had been using a screwdriver to push in car locks to steal the items inside, Whiteside said.

Both suspects are expected to be charged in connection with a series of car break-ins on campus.

“There has been a crime pattern on campus recently, and we have been working hard to address the problem,” said OSU Police Chief Paul Denton in an e-mail.

The Ohio Stadium parking areas and Sisson Lot, at the corner of Woody Hayes Drive and Coffey Road, have been the primary areas where cars have been broken into, Whiteside said.

The suspects have targeted Fords, and Ford Rangers in particular, because their locks are easier to break, police said.

Students and faculty should keep valuables such as laptops and cell phones with them when they leave their cars to prevent break-ins, Whiteside said, and they should hide indicators of those valuables, such as GPS mounts and chargers.

Police are asking those whose cars have been damaged on campus but who have not reported a crime to contact police at 614-292-2121.

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