Wichita police say they've busted a one-man crime spree responsible for thousands of dollars in damage and stolen property from east side cars.
Arrest records show police caught Larry Wilson, 46, in the parking lot of Town East Square on Wednesday afternoon. Wilson was wanted for violating his parole. He had previously served time for a drugs, burglaries and thefts.
WPD Lt. Darrell Atteberry says police received a number of car larceny reports in an area bounded by Woodlawn and Rock Road, between 37th Street North and Kellogg Avenue to the south. The reports began coming in on February 15th.
Atteberry says many of the reports mentioned a red truck in the area at the time of the thefts. Police were able to obtain a parking lot surveillance photograph of the truck in question, and began searching for both the vehicle and its driver.
On Wednesday afternoon, an officer with Patrol North spotted the truck on N. Rock Road. He followed the driver to Town East where undercover officers watched the driver break into a car.
"In a matter of five seconds or so, he broke out the window, grabbed what he wanted, and was headed back to his car ready to drive away," Atteberry said.
Atteberry said Wilson was taking whatever he could find of value -- particularly purses, possibly for identity theft purposes.
Police are working to return all of the stolen items. They included brief cases, tool boxes, papers and book bags, Atteberry said. The total value of the stolen property is unknown, though authorities say the damage to windows alone is in the thousands of dollars.
Atteberry says detectives will turn the case over to the District Attorney for official charges when the investigation is complete.
Police say it's important to take all valuables out of your car. Even if a thief doesn't break into your vehicle, police say all it takes is a decent digital camera to get a snapshot of anything laying in the open that may contain personal information.