The last two days have been full of frustration and stress for Mike and Gwen Clancy.
Their 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe was stolen early Tuesday morning from their driveway in the 1000 block of Stonecreek Drive and found by police later that afternoon southeast of Topeka.
The burglar found a spare key inside the unlocked vehicle. The Clancys have spent the last two days canceling credit cards and taking other protective measures.
Several neighbors in the vicinity west of Wakarusa Drive have had similar experiences this week, as Lawrence police on Wednesday announced they were working 13 reports of auto burglaries and vehicle thefts that occurred Monday and Tuesday in the same west Lawrence area. Area residents suspect a well-planned theft operation.
"I'd like to see them caught. They've obviously been tearing the neighborhood up here," said Mike Clancy, a Lawrence contractor.
At 11:30 p.m. Monday, burglars in the 5200 block of Harvard Road found a spare key and drove away with a 2000 Saab that was in an open garage.
Kathy Occhipinto said she and her family were home asleep during that time. Several valuable items were inside the vehicle, and officers had not found the Saab as of Wednesday, but several credit card and other transactions have been attempted in Topeka related to the owner, she said.
"I think some of us are banding together to set up a neighborhood watch," Occhipinto said.
Police also said that in another incident officers found a vehicle reported stolen from Topeka near Sixth Street and Congressional Drive in Lawrence.
Police spokeswoman Kim Murphree said Wednesday that officers were still finishing reports on six of the reported auto burglaries.
Police have advised people to lock their vehicles at all times, keep all valuables hidden or out of unattended vehicles and to keep garage doors closed and locked.
"It's still a really safe neighborhood. I just think people need to be a little smarter, including myself," said Gwen Clancy, a retail store manager.
Since Monday, police have taken 11 reports of auto burglaries, including reports of suspects breaking windows to get into vehicles in the 1400 block of Marilee Drive, the 5200 block of Harvard Road, the 1800 block of Sweetwater Court, the 1300 block of Morgan Court, and the 5000 block of Congressional Way.
Details were not yet available, but as of Wednesday evening, police said they had also responded to three auto burglary reports in the 700 and 800 blocks of Fox Chase Court and more vehicle burglaries in the 1600 block of Bob White Drive, the 1200 block of Waverly Drive and the 5000 block of Jeffries Court.