Police: Nearly 500 cars broken into in Wichita in one month

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Wichita police say hundreds of cars have been broken into in the course of a month, and officers are warning residence in one local neighborhood.

Police say in one month, nearly 500 cars have been broken into in the city, with 50 of them in College Hill. Officer Anthony Villegas says police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood, and they've handed out 700 fliers warning residents to watch out for their property.

Villegas says the thieves are after all sorts of items.

"It can be anything from petty change, phone chargers, all the way up to items like laptops, some guns, things like that." Villegas said.

We walked around the neighborhood with police and officers spotted several vehicles with purses, wallets and backpacks in view.

Police say the burglaries are happening during the day and night. Thieves aren't just targeting unlocked cars, officers say they've shattered windows to steal, too.

Villegas says there isn't one suspect or specific ring to blame, and because these are property crimes, police say if caught, many of the thieves are out of jail within a few days.

Villegas says prevention starts with you.

"I think that people get so busy and wrapped up in their own lives that they may think 'well, it's just for a moment. I'll just leave that in the car just for a little bit.' That's all it takes," Villegas said.

This story has been corrected to reflect that near 500 cars were broken into in the city of Wichita and not just in the College Hill neighborhood. 

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