Tonganoxie hit with string of vehicle thefts, burglaries
Tonganoxie experienced a string of vehicle thefts and burglaries in the past week, though the city’s police chief reminds residents to continue to be mindful of the potential for more attempted thefts.
Between March 23 and Monday, four vehicles were stolen and another five were burglarized in the northeast portion of town in the subdivisions near FastTrax at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Stone Creek Drive.
The first involved the theft of a Ford Truck on March 23. Another involved a Honda vehicle being taken during a home burglary, while the other two involved Ford trucks.
On Monday, two suspects were involved in the theft of a Ford truck, according to Police Chief Greg Lawson. The theft was reported around 4 p.m.
The two men allegedly were in the neighborhood in a vehicle stolen from another city. One suspect allegedly dropped off the other man and they drove the vehicles to Basehor.
Basehor police, as well as the Kansas Highway Patrol, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas City, Kansas Police and Kansas City, Missouri police departments assisted in various pursuits of the suspects. KCMO also provided an air unit for the pursuit.
Shortly after the vehicle theft was reported in Tonganoxie, Basehor police became aware that a white Jeep was taken from their city, according to reports from Lawson. One of the suspects, driving the stolen Jeep from Basehor, intentionally rammed a Basehor police car near 94th and Leavenworth Road with the Jeep. The men eventually were taken into custody around 6 p.m. Monday in Kansas City, Kan. The first suspect was apprehended near 64th Street and Leavenworth Road, while the other was taken into custody in southern KCK after fleeing on foot form the stolen truck. Both suspects reside outside Leavenworth County, Lawson said.
Lawson stressed the importance of the collaboration with the neighboring agencies and KHP, noting that without their help “we would have never caught these guys.”
Lawson reminds residents that surveillance cameras are a good investment for homes and businesses.
“There are plenty of cheap door bell cameras and camera flood lights out there,” Lawson said last week. “Warmer weather is upon us and it’s nice to leave garage doors open as we wander in and out of our homes. “Keep in mind this provides bad guys with an opportunity to enter the garage in search of valuables.”
Lawson also reminds residents to lock vehicles each time they exit, even if it’s in your driveway.
“Most car break-ins are crimes of opportunity,” Lawson said. “The bad guy goes to the next car when he finds out yours was locked.”
None of the thefts or burglaries in the six-day stretch involved forced entry. In the stolen vehicle cases, the keys were in the vehicles each time.
With the nicer weather, residents are naturally wanting to be outside for various activities, including chores in the back yard. Lawson reminds people to keep those garage doors closed and all doors locked in general at all times.
“I’m guilty of the same thing as everybody else, you just have to make sure they’re shut,” Lawson said.