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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Thieves entering unlocked garages in rash of burglaries across city, police say

June 21, 2013

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Lawrence police are asking residents to keep their garage doors closed and locked as officers investigate a pattern of burglaries in central and northern Lawrence.

In the past five weeks, thieves have taken advantage of unlocked garages to steal more than $12,000 in tools, bicycles and other items in a series of at least eight burglaries identified by a crime analyst with the Lawrence Police Department. In all but one of those cases, the garage door was unlocked, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a police department spokesman.

It isn't clear whether all of the thefts are related, and police have not yet identified suspects, McKinley said.

The burglaries have occurred at night and during the day, McKinley said, in several different neighborhoods, and have involved both attached and detached garages. The thieves appear to be targeting power tools and bicycles, and also are stealing items from vehicles parked inside the garages. In one case, in the 3200 block of Riverview Rd, a burglar entered a home through the garage at night and stole items from a purse on the dining room table.

The first burglary identified in the pattern was reported on May 16 in the 700 block of North Fifth Street in North Lawrence. In the weeks since then, more reports have come from the 1700 block of Louisiana Street, the 900 block of Missouri Street, and the 100 block of Tumbleweed Drive, among other locations.

Police say residents should remember to always keep their garage doors closed and locked to avoid being the victim of a crime.

Comments

57chevy 1 year, 2 months ago

Why wouldn't thieves rob people in Lawrence? The police only want cameras downtown to protect barbershops and bad Bar-B-Q restaurants. Apparently, going out and catching thieves is dangerous enough that running speedtraps right next to recent crime scenes is not only safer, but more lucrative. Where is there any effort to apply technology to prevent property crimes? If we put a tenth of the effort to stop crimes against people and property that we put into parking, traffic and drugs, most petty crime could be eliminated. Even if a thief were to be caught there is little to worry about. The county attorney freely admits that he has no intention of keeping anyone in jail (see recent commmunity meeting in Lawrence with the lamest prosecutor in America). He seems to feel like robbery is not illegal here in Douglas county or Kansas in general, I am not sure which. For that, we should blame the legislature, I guess. We are now living in troubled times. The very instituions that were developed to defend us from becoming victims now predominantly arrest people for victimless crimes (going back to your own house after a natural disaster, smoking pot, protesting ineffectual government). People who commit serious crimes are now only in trouble if they did something the government finds offensive during the crime. A criminal that just robbed you will get in much more trouble for the crack or meth in his pocket than for robbing you. I would rather let them have the meth as long as they don't rob me. It shortens their life expectancy. The current crime strategy in Lawrence is such that the best way to stop crime is to wait for the criminals to die of natural causes. Meth helps eradicate crime, in my opinion. Maybe what we need is a new agency that is appointed neigborhood by neighborhood. There job would only be to defend the citizenry from actual criminals doing nefarious things to their neighbors. Crimnals would then have their pictures on the front of the newpaper and they could spend 3-6 months picking up trash along the highways in a black and white striped jumpsuit and their nights in jail. The police could then be nationalized and made part of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and drugs or FEMA, the only things they seem interested in. As far as the lame prosecutor is concerned, that would be our fault. He is elected. I would vote for Fidel Castro (and he's almost dead) before our courrent county prosector, but every election the same lame candidate get re-elected. How about we all agree that if local governement is failing, we always vote for the new guy?

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riverdrifter 1 year, 2 months ago

And have good quality covert surveillance cameras in place to get good images of the perps. They're not that expensive.

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elliottaw 1 year, 2 months ago

And hire a good attorney if you plan on using it

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LivedinLawrence4Life 1 year, 2 months ago

Some are talking about leaving their garage doors open and setting a trap or waiting with their defensive weapon of choice for those who might wander in at night. That might make burglars think twice about who or what might be waiting for them inside the next "easy target" open garage!

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 2 months ago

That is just wrong for so many reasons. I would really hate for someone to do this.

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Pr0digy 1 year, 2 months ago

Because they never looked up when lethal force is actually legal in Kansas.

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jayhawkstalk 1 year, 2 months ago

Those aren't the only places. They forgot to mention my neighborhood off of Inverness. And, yes, it was reported to the police. The thieves broke into the cars and got the garage door openers. It was after an anti-gang door-to-door fund raiser that was a crock. So, check your cars, folks! Don't let missing openers go unnoticed. Now that is an easy way to get access.

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50YearResident 1 year, 2 months ago

Petty crooks can't be caught unless we have a new $30 million new Law Enforcement Building with an armored swat vehicle and lots of AK and AR rifles. sic

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kernal 1 year, 2 months ago

About that bogus anti-gang door-to-door fundraiser. Anyone soliciting funds, or selling something, door-to-door is required to have a solicitor's permit issued by the City of Lawrence which also has photo id on it. If they don't have what looks like a legitimate permit and can't produce another photo id to match the permit's photo, call the police! It's not that hard.

Oh, and March of Dimes still does not solicit funds door to door. I can't believe people still try that.

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50YearResident 1 year, 2 months ago

Does this apply to the story above? I can't see any connection.

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jafs 1 year, 2 months ago

Read jayhawkstalk's comment and you'll find it.

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Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 2 months ago

People are going door to door to get money that they say will be used to stop the robberies. I don't think that is possible and would want to know the particulars of how they plan on doing that.

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kernal 1 year, 2 months ago

Frankie8, I'm not finding that comment about people going door to door to get money to be used to stop robberies, just the alleged anti-gang fund raiser.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 2 months ago

Some of the thieves are pretty stupid/desperate. Three times I've had someone come through the gate in the chain link fence around my back yard at night to steal things with no real value.

The yard is so densely planted around the perimeter they would have had to have scoped it out during the day. Most recently it was bags of aluminum cans I had set next to the garage to take to the recycling center. My neighbor was out side smoking a cigarette about midnight and saw someone going in and out of the yard. He walked over and the guy drove off.

I took the bags to the recycling center and cashed them in for $20.00. Hardly worth risking a trespassing fine if I had called the police, or encountering me in the middle of the night wielding a baseball bat.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 2 months ago

That's how I got rid of my 100 year old gravity furnace that was originally fired with coal. Cut the entire thing apart and hauled it out of the basement. I wasn't sure how I was going to get rid of it. I had carefully removed all of the asbestos and disposed of it properly but the shell was in the back yard. A guy driving his truck down the alley asked if he could have it. A bunch of nine and ten year old kids jumped out, bounced around on it to flatten it, and they hauled it off. There was still some asbestos attached but they just wanted the metal for salvage.

That's the same way I got rid of the avocado refrigerator that died, and the matching gas range. Never had to call for bulk pickup. Both were gone in less than 30 minutes.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months ago

Yes the more Lawrence expands the more the crime rate expands which is easily documented as we speak. The new quality of life in Lawrence..... expanded LPD budgets and expanded crime rates.

A new police station will never thwart the additional crime in our future and neither will militarization of the police force. We can be certain tough talkin city commissioners will have zero impact.

The race is on. First Lawrence will be matching the Topeka crime rate. Next as we go for the big fish the KCMO crime rate. The LPD tax dollar budget will expand beyond reality.

After 100 years or more of Lawrence residents enjoying peace and goodwill residents now NEED to lock their garage doors and their cars and their homes. The good old days are now history. I do remember when....

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 2 months ago

Try facts.....

Show me a larger city that does not have a larger crime problem and a wayyyyyyyyy larger tax dollar budget for law enforcement yet cannot contain the crime activity.

26 years ago Lawrence crime scenes was much relatively quiet. After 26 years of expansion yes criminal activity has also expanded substantially and absolutely.

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Matthew Herbert 1 year, 2 months ago

A couple months ago, scrap metal prices peaked at $200/ton...well worth picking up people's trash off the curb. An old dead washer paired with an old dead fridge could get you $20 easy. ...not to mention your "save the world" feel good points

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del888 1 year, 2 months ago

this is exactly why I don't have a metal trash can

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