Friday, August 20, 2010
Throughout the summer months, Ark City Police officers have been busy with reports from citizens who have found their cars burglarized. Among the items removed from cars includes portable navigational systems, wallets, purses, loose money, cigarettes, compact discs, stereo equipment, MP3 players, and digital cameras just to name a few.
Normal crime trends, as seen in the past, would indicate that entering cars unlawfully would be limited to one or two persons. However, the influx of reports received indicated that the problem has grown this summer. Officers’ attention was turned to two distinct vehicle related crimes. The first, burglary committed to vehicles left unlocked. Unlocked vehicles are more susceptible to burglary due to easy access. The other trend observed involved broken window access to vehicles. The latter method is somewhat more risky on the part of the perpetrator since it involves causing noise that could be detected by neighbors or passersby.
In an effort to identify and stop this current trend, officers made a concerted effort to saturate neighborhoods looking for individuals who may be responsible for these types of crimes. Officers received a break on August 10th, 2010 when information surfaced during a field contact pertaining to possible suspects in the cases. Officers then went to work contacting numerous juveniles mentioned in the initial tip. They quickly learned that those youth involved ranged in age from as young as 11 years to 15 years. This group’s crimes were limited to checking car doors and entering cars that were left unsecured.
A total of six juveniles have been linked, so far, to numerous burglary cases throughout Ark City. Officers are continuing to follow leads and recover property on these cases.
Officers then received information on August 18th, 2010 from the Winfield Police Department regarding a possible suspect known to break windows to access the interior of cars. Three Ark City cases were linked to an individual suspect with possible charges pending.
The police department has learned through numerous interviews that “car hopping” or entering cars that are left unlocked appears to be a common practice among some young people. A simple way to combat this practice is to roll up your car windows and lock your doors. It would also be helpful to remove items such as wallets, purses, MP3 players, and other valuables from your car when you park it for the night.
Always report to the police any incident you may experience that someone has entered your car. By making report to the police, you will contribute to information gathering that will help put officers in your neighborhood.
Officers are seeking your assistance in returning property recovered in connection to these investigations. A black CaseLogic zipper case containing numerous compact discs was recovered and have yet to be identified by an owner. The compact discs include Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Coldplay. Owner applied initials were found on the discs. Please contact the police department if these discs belong to you.