Theft ring hits over weekend
A series of thefts and burglaries over the weekend has Baldwin City police asking for help from the community. In all, at least 11 vehicles were broken into Friday night or Saturday morning.
"It's quite a string," said Police Chief Mike McKenna. "They didn't let the rain deter their activities."
Not only that, but the thieves broke the rule of returning to the scene of the crime. Sometime between 6 p.m. Friday and 2:15 p.m. Saturday, the thieves made their biggest haul when they broke into various vehicles at Cabinets Inc., 1604 College. They took various tools, power tools, a digital camera and other items valued at $5,100.
The owner, Chris Bennett, 42, 907 FireTree, reported the thefts on Saturday and police investigated. Then, the thieves apparently returned between 9:30 a.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday for something that must have caught their eye.
"At that time, they took a black dune buggy," said McKenna. "They came up through his parking lot and went west on College Street."
The key was not in the dune buggy and it was valued at $1,000, bringing the total haul there to $6,100 and the adage broken of returning to the scene of the crime.
"Yes, they did," said McKenna.
None of the other car break-ins involved more than a couple hundred dollars and in some, nothing or very little was taken. The chief is convinced that it was the same person or persons in all the crimes.
"Because of the number of them, I'm sure they were all committed by the same person or persons," said McKenna.
He also cautions people to lock their vehicles, especially overnight. It varied on whether the vehicles involved with the string of 11 were locked.
"Some where, some weren't," he said. "In some of them, force able entry was made. I'd ask everyone in Baldwin to lock their car overnight and take the keys. If you've got valuables in the car, at least take them out of view. They are a tempting target to a thief."
McKenna is also asking that anyone who may have seen suspicious activity Friday night or Saturday morning, or saw someone driving the dune buggy Sunday or Monday morning, to call the police station at 594-3850.
"If anyone has any information about a person or persons around these areas or people who are trying to sell stereos, please call the Baldwin City Police Department," he said. "Their names will be kept in strictest confidence."
The other locations and particulars in the string are: 900 block of Eighth St., taken were stereo, amplifier and speakers valued at $75; 900 block of Seventh, stereo taken, $1,000 damage, total loss $1,500; 900 block of Jersey, cash and miscellaneous cards, $10 loss; 400 block of Ninth, $1 pen taken; 900 block of Seventh, CB radio, tobacco, lighters, $62 loss; 400 block of Ninth, nothing taken; 1100 block of Jersey, $750 damage, nothing taken; 900 block of Seventh, stereo, CD player, tape and ash tray taken valued at $264 and a green screw driver left behind; 900 block of Eighth, 50 CDs, sunglasses and dust cover taken, damage done to vehicle for total loss of $915; and 1100 block of Jersey, stereo valued at $150 taken.