October 20, 2010
Wichita Police have released new crime statistics for the year. The numbers show overall crime is down, but there is a sharp spike in one particular area -- trailer thefts.
It's been a few weeks since Derby's Aviator Church had one of its trailers stolen with about $10,000 worth of children ministry equipment inside.
"We've really just been having good attitudes all around. People have been very positive and there's been very little negativity," said Aviator Church Pastor of Worship Arts Jordan Golden.
This latest theft was the second time the church had fallen victim to the same crime in just nine months. This past December, the church's trailer was stolen, then recovered. The more recent case has gone unsolved.
"This might look like a setback to a lot of people but we're not going to view it that way. First and foremost we forgive the person or people who stole the trailer," said Golden.
The crime against the church is just one of the latest in a spree of trailer thefts. Wichita Police just released statistics showing trailer and equipment thefts are up nearly 40% from last year.
"More people are out of work, they're looking to make some money. Trailers can be an easy target," said Wichita Police Lt. Mike Hennessy.
Police say trailers are easy to transport, hard to trace, and in high demand.
"At night a lot of times a thief will come up with their truck, with the ball and hitch ready to go, hook it up and be gone within a matter of a couple of minutes," said Hennessy.
That's not what happened with the Aviator Church's latest trailer theft. Police say that crime was one of the rare cases in which the trailers were locked in a secure facility, but it still wasn't enough to keep thieves away.
"We did what we could but that's how it goes sometimes," said Golden.
Aviator Church says it has had tremendous support from its congregation, and has started replacing some of its lost equipment.
Police say the most important thing people can do to prevent this type of crime is keep trailers out of sight.