KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Waldo neighborhood in Kansas City has experienced a rash of burglaries, and police are urging residents to report anything suspicious.
Police say over the past week they've arrested seven people for breaking into Waldo homes. The neighborhood located between Gregory Boulevard and 85th Street is not usually known for crime, but has been the target for teen burglars. KCPD says five teenagers have targeted neighborhood homes.
A woman who lives on this block said she heard a teen knock on her neighbor's door, and when no one answered, she said the teen kicked in the door.
“Having a neighbor, that nosy neighbor, is our greatest asset,” KCPD Sgt. Kevin Kilkenny said.
The woman who called 911 didn't want to talk on camera, but she says once the door was kicked open, the alarm went off and four teens waiting in a car ran inside the house and came out a minute later and drove off.
“Most of the time they'll kick in the door, they'll run in and get as much stuff as they can, and run out,” Sgt. Kilkenny explained.
KCPD’s property crimes unit says having a screen door makes it more difficult for your home to be broken into.
“This neighborhood and the area around us has always felt safe, so it's a little unnerving to feel danger is nearby,” Larry Martin, resident, said.
Ryan Smith, who owns a security company in the neighborhood, said they're also seeing people posing as door-to-door salesmen, but they are really scoping out homes.
“There might be a guy going through the neighborhood, knocking on doors. If someone is home and they answer, they might say, ‘We'd like to clean your gutters,’ but what they are really looking for is someone not to answer,” Smith said.
The police department and security firm say if someone knocks on your door, and you don't want to answer it, they suggest you call out saying, "What do you want?" That way, police say, the would-be burglar knows you are home and will move on.