Archive for Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Burglary cases are all over map

Analysis of reports shows no pattern

October 2, 2012


Denis Yoder’s Father’s Day slumber was interrupted by a noise at a rear sliding glass door at his west Lawrence home earlier this summer.

By the numbers

Between May 1 and Aug. 31, there were 94 aggravated home burglaries reported in Lawrence, although six did not have available police reports.

Here’s the monthly breakdown from the available reports:

• May: 24

• June: 23

• July: 29

• August: 12


In 43 cases, the victims knew when the burglary occurred. In 45 cases, only a time range was known.

In the cases when time of offense was known, the burglary happened:

• 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.: 13

• 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.: 12

• 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.: 12

• 6 a.m. to noon: 4

• Noon to 11 p.m.: 2

Day of the week crimes were reported

Monday: 15

Tuesday: 16

Wednesday: 9

Thursday: 5

Friday: 15

Saturday: 13

Sunday: 15

Location, with city divided east to west by Iowa Street, and north to south by Bob Billings Parkway or 15th Street

Northwest: 27

Northeast: 21

Southwest: 19

Southeast: 22

“I just heard some rustling,” said Yoder, who flipped on a light and yelled.

An intruder, who opened the unlocked screen door, fled as Yoder called police shortly before 4 a.m. June 17.

Nothing was taken, but the incident changed the way Yoder and his family think about home safety.

“More than a little disconcerting,” said Yoder, who was a victim of one of 94 aggravated home burglaries — those in which someone was home during the crime — reported to police between May and the end of August, according to records supplied by Lawrence police.

A Journal-World analysis of those burglary reports shows what police have been saying for the past several months: There really doesn’t seem to be a strong pattern of where or how the crimes are occurring.

The crimes are just as likely on the weekend as the weekdays and just as common in northwest Lawrence as in the southeast part of the city.

“It provides a tremendous challenge,” said Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley as he looked over a burglary map created from the burglary reports.

The crimes started in southwest Lawrence, McKinley said, and police increased patrol efforts in those areas. Then burglary reports shifted north, then east, then west, until any discernible patterns washed away.

What also changed was how burglars were gaining entry, and their boldness.

In May, as police began reporting the spike, many of the homes, such as Yoder’s, were being entered through an unlocked back door or garage door. As public awareness increased and police urged residents to lock doors and leave on lights, police began seeing more forced-entry burglaries. About half of the reported cases involve forced entry.

In one case, McKinley said, burglars even entered through front door and walked right past residents sleeping in a living room.

Clearance rate

While police have increased efforts and made solving and preventing crimes a top priority, the randomness of the burglaries has left a less-than-impressive clearance rate. Of the 94 burglaries analyzed by the Journal-World, police have arrested eight suspects for 10 burglaries.

But those figures are deceptive, McKinley said.

One factor is that residents are reporting more of the crimes, some of which, in the past, may have been brushed aside, McKinley said. With the increased focus on home burglaries, even someone rattling at a door or screen gets a police call.

While that may affect how clearance rates look, that’s what police want, McKinley said. They want local residents to call them.

Even attempted burglaries, or what seem like brief and unsuccessful burglary attempts, help police track crimes and could lead to a clue that helps solve other cases.

“We may get something out of that,” he said.

And while police may suspect that someone who’s been arrested also is guilty of other crimes, police are left with the cases they can prove, McKinley said.

More clearances may be on the horizon, though, as evidence testing results begin trickling in from the lab. In many of the cases, police have collected fingerprints or other DNA that they hope will produce suspects in some of the crimes from months ago.

Simple measures

The same advice to Lawrence residents to prevent home burglaries that’s been repeated for months holds true, McKinley said.

Lock your doors, keeps exterior lights on, pay close attention to activity in your neighborhood and notify police of anything unusual.

“None of that has changed,” he said.

For residents such as Yoder, who’s lived at his home for 15 years and has never had a previous burglary attempt, home safety, unfortunately, gets top billing now. The family has updated its security system and added motion-detecting lights, among other measures.

In the past, the family didn’t always twist that lock at the back door in their quiet neighborhood.

“We do now,” Yoder said.

Google form

Burglaries by day of week

Burglaries by day of the week between May 1 and Aug. 31. Numbers provided by Lawrence Police Department.

Google form

Burglaries by time of day

Burglaries by time of day for crimes between May 1 and Aug. 31.

Google form

Burglaries by month

Burglaries reported to Lawrence police by month.

Google Map

Weekly crime recap, 9/23-9/29

View Lawrence crime week of 9/23-9/29 in a larger map

A recap of crimes we've reported on this week.

Google Map

Burglary map

A map of 88 burglaries reported to Lawrence police between May 1 and Aug. 31. Locations are block specific and do not pertain to a particular address in an attempt to protect victim privacy. The crimes listed include those defined as aggravated burglary, meaning someone was home at the time of the crime.


joes_donuts 5 years, 5 months ago

How about the LPD puts as many officers on patrol in neighborhoods as they do chasing 20 yr old college girls in short skirts drinking?

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

I think there's already enough young men chasing 20 year old college girls.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

"While police have increased efforts and made solving and preventing crimes a top priority, the randomness of the burglaries has left a less-than-impressive clearance rate."

If the perpetrators of these crimes faced a similar randomness in the number of homeowners all ready to utter "Go ahead, make my day," and then carry out the meaning of the phrase, I think that crime rates would be much lower.

deec 5 years, 5 months ago

Sleeping people don't tend to shoot guns.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

But don't answer the door bell. A young lady answered her father door bell in Las Vegas. She was aducted, however the police was able to bring her back safely because the perpetrators were discovered because of a neighbors survellience cameral. Ever been to Mexico? Now you know why the rich live inside compounds. Bet you they are armed.

LeBo 5 years, 5 months ago

Nothing random about dead hamburgulars!

David Albertson 5 years, 5 months ago

Lawrence is going to sh!t and the LPD is unable to do anything about it. I don't know what the solution is but something needs to change. I'm not a big proponent of guns but I do keep a loaded 12 gauge in my bedroom for this very reason. I was broken in to 3 times when I lived in Lawrence. Luckily for them I wasn't home at the time because they would have been eating hot lead.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

Suggest you talke to the mother of the grade school girls in Topeka who was abducted during a robbery.

ssakcaj 5 years, 5 months ago

The police say there isn't a pattern but that isn't true. There is a pattern on the Google maps data set of clusters by location. The other that data could show but doesn't is whether there is a correlation between days of the week and the burglaries. You would have all the burglaries on Monday be one color, Tuesday a different color and see if there is a pattern. Finally, you would show the burglaries by time of day and use the same color scheme. The pattern is there, they just aren't asking the right questions.

Tomato 5 years, 5 months ago

Well, indeed. Looking at the google map, it seems easy to pinpoint which neighborhoods need extra patrols.

mom_of_three 5 years, 5 months ago

are these burglaries related to the car burglaries and destruction of December??

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

Usually a medium-sized dog will prevent burglarizes. It's funny how things work out in the end - if you don't like dogs, there is a greater chance your stuff will be stolen.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

Does not happen in Topeka. The shoot the dogs.

kernal 5 years, 5 months ago

Golly gee whiz, lg40, I too watch the news outlets. However, I do keep Fox news viewing at a minimum as the lies and b.s. is not good use of my valuable time.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

Hope your ignorance keeps you happy. Meanwhile rich liberals are an inviting target. And watch out if you have young girls in you home. Topeka has seen grade schoold girls abducted, raped, killed and stuffed in dryers. And Topeka is not that far away.

mom_of_three 5 years, 5 months ago

My car was broken into in December 2007 and again in December 2011 - two different presidents. I don't think that has anything to do with it.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

No, but liberal appointed judges and procecuting attorneys do.

bad_dog 5 years, 5 months ago

Good thing we have elected judges and district attorneys in Doug Co. then, eh?

nondescript 5 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely, lawrenceguy40. Prosperity and jobs are the best way to keep criminals otherwise engaged--so let's vote republican for president. We have to get the current bum and his policies of poverty / confiscation of wealth by taxes / entitlement out of that office.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

Texas has no State Income taxes. They also use their capital punishment. When was the last time a person was executed legally. Recently the parole board let out a convicted murderer, who along with other persons wanted to kill an exgirl friend. Unfortionately, she and move out and another person had move in, and he was the person they murdered.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 5 months ago

You forgot to specifically bad mouth the LPD or use the word "sycophant(ic)" in your post. Looks like LG40 is losing his touch.

skinny 5 years, 5 months ago

Cator to the homeless and they will come!! Far and wide they come from!!

Deb Engstrom 5 years, 5 months ago

The people who have been arrested for home invasions thus far have not been people who are homeless.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 5 months ago

lol cops skirt chasing and not patrolling is allowing homes to be broken into??? these are crimes of opportunity not lack of police!!! Unlocked doors, windows, and garages not closed are the issue, not police on every corner... Take some responsibility people, lock your house up!!!

flyin_squirrel 5 years, 5 months ago

I think all he was saying is the police spend more time and effort on college kids drinking then patrolling neighborhoods.

Deb Engstrom 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't lock, but if I have anything in my house that anyone would want to steal it is easily replaced.

gbulldog 5 years, 5 months ago

In Topeka, a young female child, who was taken, raped, killed, and stuffed in a dryer. I guess you can always have another child.

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 5 years, 5 months ago

If these aggravated burglaries keep going as they have, eventually someone will be hurt or killed. It may be the home owner, or the burglar. It is difficult for me to fathom people leaving doors or windows unlocked, but they do. Also, you do not have to have a dog to benefit from them. I saw a device with a sensor that can sense movement through doors, if it senses movement it barks like a huge dog. It cost about $100. What is your life and the lives of your family worth? Lock all doors, have motion sensing flood lights on each corner of your home outside, have a burglar alarm that has a loud siren to wake you up in time to do something, have a dog that barks. If not a real dog, take a look at the one mentioned above. Having a firearm is your choice, but people have shot family members when awakened suddenly. If you have one, you need to have a warning so you are awake and thinking right. We have all of the above at our home, plus outside dusk to dawn lights. The dog is real. So is the .45 beside our bed. Be careful, your lives may depend on it.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

Of course I had to take a look at the barking dog alarm! There are many slightly different ones available, this is only one of them:

Clipped from:

Rex the Electronic Watch Dog

This advanced alarm system uses radar technology to detect motion and measure distance through doors, walls, or windows up to 4" thick. When an intruder approaches within 30 feet, it begins to bark like a large German Shepherd. The closer the intruder comes, the more frequent and the more threatening the barking becomes. It plugs into a standard 110 VAC outlet and has a volume and sensitivity control. Great for Homes, RVs, offices, factories, or warehouses. It can be used outdoors to keep wildlife away, but must be protected from the weather. Rex the Electronic Watch Dog has a realistic sound. It's well known that prowlers will avoid homes that have a dog. Testing shows that Rex is so realistic, it will cause other dogs in the area to start barking.

Price $79.95

Click here to listen to Rex:

I think that if Rex does not scare intruders away, he will at least wake you up!

PhilChiles 5 years, 5 months ago

I know this may not be a "politically correct" thing to say, but if anyone tries this at my house, I will be using the nuclear bomb I keep under my pillow. SORRY LIBERALS.

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 5 months ago

Not many burglars can run 1200 feet per second, thats whats next to our bed, plus alarms on all doors and windows, so not much of a chance someone inside our home that wasn't there when we went to bed.

oldbaldguy 5 years, 5 months ago

i hope none of you have to ever shoot anyone. it is not as easy as you think and unless you are a sociopath it will always be with you. however if someone is in your home on a burglary, you have the right to defend yourself and your family.

pace 5 years, 5 months ago

I really appreciate the weekly map. I hope it becomes a regular feature.

Kate Rogge 5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah. Why not just draw a red circle around our neighborhood and say "Look, no one over here has been burgled..." and watch it fill up with red circles next week. Like playing Battleship.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 5 months ago

We're considering something like that.

Shaun LJW

Carol Bowen 5 years, 5 months ago

The burglaries are not random, and it's not that hard to figure out. When jobs are down, robberies go up. Everybody's got to eat. If i were hungry, I'd empty your freezer. In some cases it's harder to support substance abuse in a tough job market. Or, maybe it's the challenge and thrill..

  1. Where to find good stuff.
  2. Access.
  3. Opportunity.
  4. Need

If you have items that are easy to take and easy to sell or use, you are vulnerable. Cash, computers, (especially laptops), big screen TVs, handheld electronic devices, clothing, jewelry, silver, car keys and car. If you live in the student community or a neighborhood that is likely to have these things, you need more security. Start with the usual reinforced doors with dead bolts, lock windows, jam sliding doors. Don't leave your keys out. ADT is not cheap, but effective. Students should get tenants insurance. Eliminate access and opportunity. The police department provides more information when requested.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

As long as repubs never vote on a jobs bill or do nothing about the jobs that were lost due the Bush/Cheney reckless home loan policies expect crime to increase.

Republicans promote crime not only in our neighborhoods but in the USA financial institutions.

Jobs jobs jobs jobs that pay more than $33,000 per year will reduce crime. So I say.

Anthony Mall 5 years, 5 months ago

That is completely false!!! Another case of a liberal blaming bush for a democrats actions!!! Clinton started the sub-prime mortgage disaster, Bush warned congress about the issue before he was president but it was ignored!!! Please check facts before posting anymore of your agenda pushing bull****!!!

Flap Doodle 5 years, 5 months ago

How how how how did you arrive at that figure? So I ask.

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