A recent rash of vehicle thefts and burglaries has spread to the eastern side of Miami County.
The Louisburg Police Department reported Friday, Nov. 1, that three vehicles were stolen and another half dozen vehicles were burglarized in Louisburg during the past two weeks.
The Paola Police Department recently reported that several vehicle thefts and auto burglaries also have occurred in the county seat.
On Oct. 24, Paola police officers took a report of a stolen 2014 white Dodge Charger, which was recovered the following day in Spring Hill. The vehicle was unlocked with the keys inside, according to a police department news release.
In September, Paola officers took six separate reports of automobile burglaries between the 900 and 500 blocks of East Peoria and East Wea streets during the overnight hours of Sunday, Sept. 15, and early morning of Monday, Sept. 16.
In most cases, the vehicles were left unlocked with the keys inside.
Firearms were stolen from some of the burglarized vehicles in Louisburg, Police Chief Tim Bauer said in a news release. He urged residents to not leave firearms, valuables or keys inside their vehicles.
“These are crimes of opportunity. They look for unlocked vehicles with valuables, but will break into a vehicle if valuables are in plain view,” Bauer said. “Unfortunately, firearms have also been stolen in a couple of the auto burglaries. You should always secure your firearms and valuables inside your residence, and lock your vehicles. This will lessen your chances of becoming a victim to these types of crime.”
Bauer said similar cases have been reported in other areas of the county, as well as neighboring Linn and Johnson counties.
Authorities have not said if they think some of these cases from across the county and the neighboring region are related.
Det. Sgt. Marc Miller of the Paola Police Department has been busy investigating the Paola cases, and his hard work recently paid off.
According to a police department news release, Miller developed leads in at least 17 of the auto burglaries and one auto theft. During the course of his investigation, those leads ended in a search warrant at an address in Kansas City, Mo., and the arrest of a person of interest who lived at that location.
The police reports on the 17 auto burglaries and an auto theft have been forwarded to the Miami County Attorney’s Office for a request of charges against the suspect.
Along with the Paola stolen property, stolen property from other Kansas City metro area agencies was located during the Kansas City, Mo., search warrant. The suspect is currently in the Jackson County, Mo., jail, according to the release.
“Marc did an outstanding job in developing a suspect in these cases and locating some of the stolen property,” Capt. Kevin Colwell said. “I should note, some of the leads in the burglary cases came from citizens who observed something suspicious and reported it to the Paola Police Department. We urge our citizens to report any suspicious behavior or circumstances.”
Police officials in Paola and Louisburg continue to encourage residents to always lock vehicles, houses and secure garage doors to prevent crimes of opportunity.