Lock your doors. Be watchful. Keep the lights on.
But as police warn Lawrence residents about a rash of home invasions, reports of the crimes keep piling up.
Monday morning, Lawrence police reported two more overnight burglaries, including one in which two handguns were stolen.
One of the burglaries occurred between 11:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:50 a.m. Monday in the 500 block of North Wilma Way, said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley. Two handguns, a .38 special revolver and a .380 semi-automatic, were stolen by a suspect from the first-floor living room area of the home, which is northwest of Peterson Road and Kasold Drive. The suspect reportedly entered the home through an unlocked rear door, McKinley said.
Police were also dispatched shortly before 7 a.m. Monday to a home in the 1100 block of Andover Street, after residents discovered several items, valued at over $3,000, missing from the home, which is northwest of Harvard Road and Monterey Way. The residents reported they left their garage door open and said they think that’s how the suspect or suspects gained entrance. Some of the residents were at home asleep at the time of the incident.
The incidents are just two of dozens of aggravated burglaries reported in the last three months; in some cases, sleeping residents awake to find the intruder in their homes.
“It is a priority right now. We have detectives that are assigned to the cases as well as working a coordinated effort with both evening and midnight shift patrols,” McKinley said.
A 39-year-old Lawrence man was arrested on June 9, but the burglaries continued once he was in custody.
Police began warning residents in June to make sure doors and windows were locked at night after several similar aggravated burglaries occurred in southwestern Lawrence.
Police are asking residents to keep an eye out for suspicious people in their neighborhoods late at night or early in the morning.
Officers are also advising people to routinely check to make sure all doors and windows are locked before they go to bed, especially sliding glass doors.
Garage doors also should be closed, and officers do advise people to leave on exterior lights, including porch lights, throughout the night, McKinley said.