Unlocked cars made easy targets for burglars in west Lawrence spree, police say

In one night this week, Lawrence police got reports of 13 auto burglaries in far West Lawrence — specifically, west of Monterey Way. Of those, nine of the vehicles had been left unlocked, Officer Drew Fennelly said, based on initial reports.

The remaining four burglarized cars had broken windows, and drivers had left valuables inside in plain sight, Fennelly said.

This particular string of auto burglaries happened late Monday night into early Tuesday morning, Fennelly said. But such a spree is hardly unheard of, even though I don’t often write about it in the newspaper.

Lawrence police have been tweeting all week about unlocked cars being burglarized recently, including two more reports just this morning. I did write a similar Lights & Sirens post in August about a bunch of overnight auto burglaries in the neighborhood near The Jayhawk Club golf course. Police said all 10 of those reports involved unlocked cars.

Of course there’s a PSA to go with this post. Per Fennelly:

“We are asking all residents to take their valuables (including spare change) out of their vehicles, and to keep them locked. Residents are far less likely to be victimized if their vehicle is locked and there are no items of any value in sight. We are also asking residents to call dispatch if they witness anything suspicious in their neighborhoods, especially during night time hours.”

— I’m the Journal-World’s public safety reporter. Reach me by email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or by phone at 785-832-7187. I’m also on Twitter, @saramarieshep.