Thieves target Baldwin
Baldwin has been hit with a string of thefts and burglaries in the past couple of weeks.
Since March 12, the Baldwin City Police Department has filed 10 reports of items stolen from local businesses as well as someone breaking into cars and a house.
"We obviously have a gang of thieves that are active in our community at this time," Baldwin Police Chief Mike McKenna said.
Heritage Tractor, 915 Industrial Road, was the first business to have items stolen. On March 12, a trailer and two riding lawnmowers, valued at more than $21,000, were taken from the John Deere dealership overnight.
The following weekend, three more businesses were hit by thieves. Sometime between March 14 and March 17, a $500 toolbox was stolen from Vinland Enterprises, Inc., 1701 High St., 20 aluminum tire rims valued at $2,400 were stolen from Hey Machinery, 1602 High St., and an unknown amount of diesel fuel was stolen from Baldwin Feed Co, 1600 High St.
Other areas of the city have also felt the effects of the thefts. Sometime between Friday night and Monday morning, a 500-pound spool of underground aluminum cable, worth about $1,300, was stolen from a city storage facility, the former Baldwin City Market building at 520 High St.
But businesses haven't been the only ones experiencing thefts.
A report was filed March 20 for a burglary that occurred sometime between Feb. 14 and 16 at 1583 North 200 Road. A storage shed was broken into and 20 used automobile batteries, 20 used automobile radiators and a 2 1/4 ton floor jack were stolen from the residence.
McKenna said the owner didn't report the burglary until after he heard about the theft at Heritage Tractor.
A 1998 Pontiac Firebird was stolen sometime between March 13 and March 23, during Baker University's spring break, from a parking lot on the southeast corner of Sixth and Chapel streets.
McKenna said the car was recovered Sunday in north Kansas City, Mo.
Two car burglaries occurred overnight Thursday. An am/fm radio was stolen from a car in the 300 block of Santa Fe Drive and a garage door opener was taken from a second car in the 500 block of Heritage Drive. McKenna said the garage door opener was used to gain access to the owner's garage, but nothing was reported taken.
Someone also tried to gain entry in a 1990 Nissan early Saturday morning in the 200 block of Washington St., but McKenna said the attempt was not successful.
He said he wasn't sure if the recent crime wave was the work of one group of thieves, or a few individuals.
"We're currently pursuing leads on them," he said of the crimes.
McKenna recommended people to take precautions to help avoid future thefts.
"Try to keep your property less available to the people who have these tendencies," he said.
He also encouraged anyone who notices suspicious activity, especially in the late evening or early morning hours, to call the Baldwin City Police Department at 594-3850.