Vandals, thieves target parking garages across downtown Cleveland

Updated: Apr. 17, 2018 at 11:02 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Vandals hit several parking garages in downtown Cleveland on Monday night, bashing in car windows and leaving a lot of damage behind.

Now security is being ramped up and police are adding extra patrols.

Strangely enough, in Monday's cases, nothing was stolen.

Cleveland19 talked to a security company that says car break-ins are increasing, and it's not just happening downtown.

According to Metro Cleveland Security, parking areas at malls and shopping centers in the suburbs have also been hit lately, from Lakewood to Beachwood and Strongsville.

We asked shoppers how they try to stay safe.

"I try to keep most of my stuff in my trunk, and if I'm gonna leave stuff in my car, I'll put it in the back seat and try to cover it," said Nikki Ningard.

"I always park under a streetlight, if someone breaks in you can see it," said Xavier Jones.

Metro Cleveland Security monitors several parking garages downtown.

They're adding more security guards to make rounds and up their presence.

Cleveland Police are also upping patrols, even by bicycle, which allows them to reach more areas.

So how can you stay safe?

It may seem obvious, but don't leave anything valuable in plain sight. Even change in your ash tray can be a target.

And don't put your bags or your purse in your trunk while you're still shopping. You never know who could be watching

Metro Cleveland Security suggests parking under the lights, near other cars and away from entrances and exits where thieves can make a quick getaway.

They say thieves are working in teams-- with one person guarding the area and another person breaking into cars.

Security guards recommend staying alert at all times.

Metro Cleveland Security says more guards on duty in downtown parking garages could affect your wallet.

The manager of Metro Cleveland Security says that the increase will be costly for garages, and because of that, you could be paying more to park soon.

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