Business owners near 24th Street and Ponderosa Drive in southeastern Lawrence are frustrated after several overnight burglaries in recent weeks.
The most recent one was reported to Lawrence police Friday morning, when Stephanie Ziegler, an owner of Ziegler Glass, 2400 Ponderosa Drive, said someone broke into the front door of the business, loaded tools into a company van and stole the van.
“I’m sure we’ll do extra security measures in the future,” Ziegler said.
The van was found later Friday morning in the Topeka area, she said.
Jeanette Atkinson, an owner of Midwest Auto Diagnostics and Repair, 2414 Ponderosa Drive, became frustrated when she saw police officers in the area again Friday morning. The shop was broken into overnight May 20, and her debit card was stolen from her desk. She said the thieves used her card to purchase gas for at least three vehicles that night at a gas station in Topeka.
According to Lawrence police crime data the Journal-World tracks, at least two other businesses were burglarized the same night May 20.
Atkinson said her company and others were re-examining security measures in the area, including possibly installing security cameras. The businesses are away from 23rd Street, so there’s less traffic in the area at night, which could make it a target.
“It’s kind of dark, but there are apartments right behind that area,” Atkinson said. “The only traffic goes through on Ponderosa if people are coming through to go to the apartments.”
The Lawrence Police Department this month is encouraging people to lock doors at home, in the office or their vehicles to try to prevent burglaries. Police also encourage businesses to install security cameras.