Lawrence police arrested two suspects in connection with vehicle burglaries in Oread Neighborhood Wednesday night, and officers were called to a separate set of burglaries reported in the area early Thursday.
Sgt. Trent McKinley, a police spokesman, said officers arrested two Lawrence men, ages 43 and 20, as suspects in three burglaries. Police responded just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to the 1200 block of Ohio Street. Officers on foot found two men in an alley that matched a description provided by a caller who had seen two people checking cars in the area.
“The investigation determined the suspects had entered, or attempted to enter, several vehicles in the area, including one that was parked inside a detached garage,” McKinley said.
The two men, William Keith Morris, 43, and Steven Matthew Archuleta, 20, were charged Thursday with two counts each of vehicle burglary and one count of burglary of a non-dwelling.
Police had officers on foot patrol in Oread neighborhood overnight due to recent reports of aggravated burglaries in Lawrence. McKinley said the department has identified 34 aggravated burglaries in the city from March 17 to May 27.
“We are working with investigators to try and figure out a plan of action for addressing this sort of thing,” he said.
McKinley said a vast majority of the crimes involve suspects entering unlocked doors, including sliding doors, or unsecured windows, so police advise residents to close windows and lock doors at night as well as installing exterior lighting when possible.
Police received another report about 3 a.m. near 14th and Vermont streets from a man who awoke to seeing two suspects burglarizing his vehicle. The suspects took $5 in change and an ash tray from the vehicle. About an hour later, police located two possible suspects — separate from the pair arrested hours earlier — in the same area. Police have not made any arrests yet, but they are still investigating to determine if the potential suspects are related to other burglaries in the area. McKinley said police received other similar reports early Thursday and at least one new report about 9 a.m. Thursday of another vehicle burglary near 13th and Vermont streets.
In another Oread incident, about 4:45 a.m. Thursday a resident reported an aggravated burglary in progress in the 1400 block of Tennessee Street, and officers located an intoxicated man, wearing only his underwear at the scene.
“The man did not realize where he was and walked into the residence,” McKinley said.
Police did arrest the 20-year-old Olathe man, Erik Patrick Lockwood, on a criminal trespassing charge. He was in the Douglas County Jail Thursday morning and was charged in municipal court, according to jail records.
While officers were responding to that call, a 23-year-old Lawrence man, Christopher Seneca, ran a red light while headed south on Tennessee Street and struck the front bumper of a police patrol car headed west on 14th Street. McKinley said the officer, Mark Weems, had a green light when he entered the intersection. Weems went to Lawrence Memorial Hospital for treatment of a leg injury.
McKinley said Seneca was cited for a red light violation, but there was no evidence he was impaired. Seneca told officers he was distracted by police he saw in the area responding to the burglary. Both vehicles were towed from the scene, McKinley said.