Car break-ins on the rise in Ark City

Posted: Updated:

Arkansas City police say car break-ins are on the rise.

"Over the last probably 3 or 4 months, it has gone ballistic on us," says Arkansas City Police Chief, Dan Ward.

Police report over 100 auto burglary cases in 2018, an 80% increase from previous years. Purses and anything of value are being stolen out of cars. Also being stolen, guns left in plain sight.

Yani Andres, an Arkansas City resident, says he has experience with a gun theft. "It happened to one of my friends and they actually stole a gun that he keeps in his car."

Police say it's never a good idea to keep a gun in your car.

"Not all auto burglars are drug addicts. Some are kids, and so we obviously don't want guns being in the hands of kids," says Ward.

Now, police are going door to door, handing out pamphlets and warning citizens. They're calling the new strategy the "9 p.m. Routine."

"We've been trying to work with the public because we can't be everywhere all the time," says Ward.

Police are reminding citizens not to leave valuables or guns in cars. If you do have to leave any weapons, it's best to leave them in a safe intended for vehicles. And, when you're getting out of the car, always lock the doors.

"We just don't see it a whole lot here in Ark City, but now that it is happening, everybody needs to take heed to what's going on. Everybody needs to lock their cars," says Stev Landmorris, an Arkansas City resident.

Police haven't caught any theft suspects yet, but say they're hopeful more public awareness will help future thefts from happening.