Burglaries increase in county
Rural burglaries are on the rise.
"There's been an influx here in the last few months, May through June," said Leavenworth County Undersheriff Dave Zoellner.
In the county's rural areas, there were 12 burglaries reported in May, 14 in June and 16 in July, Zoellner said.
Of those, about half, or four in May, six in June and 8 in July, occurred in the Tonganoxie area, Zoellner said.
By Tonganoxie area, Zoellner said he meant areas within five to six miles outside of town.
"There have been a lot more than usual," he added.
In fact, the sheriff's department major estimated that this summer the number of rural burglaries is twice what the county's had in the last three or four years.
"A lot of it's been in the western part of Leavenworth County, along the county line from north to south," Zoellner said.
Some of the homes are secluded and some are in plain view from a road, Zoellner said.
Zoellner said he thinks the burglars are people who know the Tonganoxie area.
"They're hitting residences or outbuildings of people that aren't home," Zoellner said. "Most of them seem to be occurring during the daytime when the people appear to be at work."
But in June, a would-be burglar attempted to break into a home when a resident was there.
"They called the relatives, law enforcement and got a tag number," Zoellner said.
Items commonly taken include tools, guns, electronic devices such as computers and televisions, boom boxes, CDs and jewelry.
Also taken recently were riding lawnmowers and go-carts, Zoellner said.
Burglars are entering homes by kicking the door in, Zoellner said.
If a resident suspects an intruder is about to enter the home, Zoellner said, if possible, they should call 911.
"And if they feel that somebody is entering the residence, they need to go out the other door," he added.