Posts tagged with Unlocked Cars

Police try combating western Lawrence auto burglaries with education

As I reported a couple weeks ago, there’s been a string of auto burglaries recently where in many cases, Lawrence police say, vehicles left unlocked overnight made for easy prey. Likewise for vehicles where tempting valuables were left in plain sight.

In addition to ongoing efforts to catch the criminals responsible (of course), police are also trying to combat such crimes from another angle: citizen education.

Earlier this week two officers spent several hours going door to door in neighborhoods hit by auto burglaries, on a crime prevention and community engagement assignment, Lawrence Police Officer Derrick Smith said in an email. He said residents seemed appreciative.

“We believe several potential victims were helped and educated,” Smith said. “Specifically, one resident who left her vehicle unlocked with valuable items in plain view and another citizen who accidentally left her garage door open.”

Smith said another officer was reaching out to neighborhood associations to provide awareness and crime prevention tips, in hopes those groups would in turn share the tips with their members. Smith said officers had knocked on doors in the northwestern part of the city, and may also hit the southwestern part this week.

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


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.”

None by Lawrence Police

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

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