Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Three Pratt teens face multiple burglary charges after police linked them to more than a dozen recent burglaries.
Pratt Police said Tuesday they believe the teens are responsible for at least 13 thefts across town, but Sgt. Kent Wyatt said there may be more cases linked to the teens.
"I would say within the last month would probably be what we could connect with this," Wyatt said.
As police investigated a burglary on the east side of Pratt last Wednesday, they quickly identified the three teenage suspects. Evidence quickly connected the trio to more thefts from homes, buildings and vehicles.
Wyatt said the teens were just taking whatever they could get their hands on.
"Everything from packs of cigarettes to firearms," he said.
Because the suspects are all between the ages of 14 and 16, Wyatt cannot identify them. However, he said, one of the suspects has been arrested before on suspicion of burglary and theft.
Dan Swindler was born in Pratt and has been living in town temporarily. He has been thinking of returning so he can be closer to family, but he has been dealing with vandalism.
"It's actually given me a little bit of pause," Swindler said. "I've twice had to deal with the police on this to try to get these kids to stop this."
Other Pratt residents said they have not noticed a significant increase in crime and, most importantly, they feel safe.
"I don't feel like Pratt's very crime-ridden at all," Daniel Cramer said. "I feel like it's a pretty safe town overall."
However, Wyatt warned it is that sense of security criminals often exploit.
"We have lots of burglaries that occur to unlocked structures and unlocked vehicles," he said. "Break-ins are much more rare, so you do protect your property by locking things up."