Several arrests made in recent auto burglaries in Lawrence

Lawrence police have made a handful of arrests in what seems to be a higher than usual number of auto burglaries recently.

However, police don’t believe a single ring of burglars is responsible for all of the crimes.

In a three-month span, from August through October, 286 auto burglaries were reported, Lawrence Police Officer Derrick Smith said, in an email response to questions from the Journal-World.

“A majority of these auto burglaries involved unlocked vehicles or vehicles with their windows left down,” he said.

Smith said that he thought the number of auto burglaries was higher than usual, although data were not immediately available to compare.

Police have made five arrests related to the recent auto burglaries, Smith said.

He said police don’t think all of the suspects were working together, but police can confirm that in one case there were at least two people working together. Police did not provide names of the people arrested.

In one recent string of burglaries previously reported by the Journal-World, burglars hit 13 vehicles in one night in late October in far west Lawrence, specifically west of Monterey Way. In early August, police responded to a report of an auto burglary in the 4100 block of Wimbledon Circle, near the Jayhawk Club golf course, and went on to discover a total of 10 vehicles in the same area that had been burglarized — each left unlocked.

But those are only a few of the cases.

Police officers also have done some resident outreach, knocking on doors and talking to neighborhood groups to remind residents of crime-prevention tips.

“We continue to ask residents to take preventative measures by removing valuables (including spare change) from their vehicles and to keep them locked,” Smith said. “Residents are far less likely to be victimized if their vehicle is locked and there are no items of any value in sight.”