A 32-year-old Columbus man was arrested on suspicion of breaking into a vehicle in a west side restaurant parking lot Friday morning and stealing a duffel bag with credit cards, jewelry and coins.
Lt. Matt Myers, spokesman for the Columbus Police Department, said police solved the crime because of good cooperation, tips from the public and because the victim provided a detailed description of the coins.
However, Myers warned that because of a recent rash of smash-and-grabs in Columbus, especially in the Tipton Lakes area and near FairOaks Mall and Ivy Tech, residents should make sure to keep any valuables they leave in their vehicles hidden from sight.
Phillip Ramsey, 5141 Montpelier Court, was booked into Bartholomew County Jail Friday evening on a preliminary charge of theft, a Class D felony.
Myers said police were called to Bob Evans, on Jonathan Moore Pike just west of Interstate 65, shortly before 8 a.m. Friday, where the owner of a car told Lt. Jay Frederick that someone had broken a window and stolen a duffel bag from a vehicle.
The victim provided a detailed description of the contents, including credit cards, cash, rings and two rare coins.
The victim called police at about 1 p.m. to report that someone at the Days Inn, just west of Bob Evans, had recovered the duffel bag and some of the items, though some jewelry, cash, credit cards and coins still were missing.
At 1:07 p.m, Patrolman Randy Baker and Capt. Mike Richardson conducted a welfare check at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, about a half mile west of the Days Inn, because someone was seen sleeping or passed out in a truck.
Baker and Richardson identified the individual in the truck as Ramsey, and as they ran a routine check on him, they were notified by Frederick, who was familiar with Ramsey from previous encounters, about the early morning theft and especially the coins.
Richardson saw in plain view on the truck’s passenger seat cushion a coin that matched Frederick’s description, Myers said.
Ramsey did not consent to a search, but police obtained a search warrant for Ramsey and his vehicle and recovered the credit cards, cash, jewelry — and the coins, Myers said.
“This was heads-up police work,” Myers said. “It all came together.”
He also said that as the holiday season approaches and people leave valuables, including Christmas presents, in their vehicles, they should make sure the items are hidden from view in a glove box or in the trunk.