A Shawnee resident, one of several reporting items stolen in a recent rash of vehicle burglaries, said the thieves had time to “riffle” through every part of his vehicle.
Shawnee police have filed several reports this past week for incidents occurring in neighborhoods around Shawnee.
The man, who said he and his wife “religiously” lock their vehicles, said he inadvertently left the vehicle unlocked overnight when it was parked in the driveway of his north Shawnee home.
“This wasn’t a hit and grab…they spent a little time in my vehicle,” he said. “They riffled through it.”
The thieves, after searching every compartment, took several items. A car parked at his neighbor’s house also was burglarized, but in that case, the thieves broke out a window and made off with a stereo speaker system.
Shawnee Police Chief Russell Frantz said with the recent increase in reports, residents are reminded to be aware and to take precautions.
“Warmer weather has arrived and more people are out and about,” the chief said. “Please remember to lock vehicles and take valuables inside at night or at least store valuables out of sight.”
While the vehicle burglaries have recently occurred in neighborhoods, they can occur just about anywhere, police said.
In many of the recent cases, Frantz said the vehicles were left unlocked, giving thieves easy access.
“Most vehicle burglaries are crimes of opportunity — the thief sees an unlocked vehicle and will just go through it,” Frantz said, adding it’s rare for thief to break a window when they can go down the street and get into an unlocked vehicle.
While valuable items shouldn’t be left in the vehicle, especially in plain sight, police also remind ladies not to leave purses unattended inside their vehicles. In one of the recent cases, a man’s wallet was among the items taken from a vehicle.
Frantz reminds residents that if they see a suspicious person, they can call the non-emergency number at Shawnee police, 405-273-2121, so an officer can respond to the area.
Helpful information to tell dispatchers includes what the person was doing, as well as providing a description of the person, their height, weight, clothing, direction of travel, or a vehicle description, if applicable.