Police arrest man in Merriam suspected of breaking into multiple cars, taking valuables

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MERRIAM, Kan. -- Taylor Duncan's morning got off to a rough start after she said someone broke into her car on Tuesday night.

"I woke up and was walking out to my car and I noticed that the gas cap was undone and when I unlocked the car I looked in and there was a huge mess," Duncan said.

"He went through my backseat, pulled things out of the pockets, threw some stuff around here, it was very eerie. He took a bunch of random stuff. I had some earrings in my car, he took a receipt to a parking spot, plus my parking spot exec card that I use to go to the airport, and he took a piece of paper that had a bunch of notes on it."

Captain Troy Duvanel, of the Merriam Police Department, said Duncan was not alone.

"We’ve identified five victims. We believe there are some other victims out there," he said.

Captain Duvanel said Ryan Mayo, 24, was arrested on Wednesday. Police said Mayo hit a number of cars between 67th and Shawnee Mission Pkwy and Antioch and I-35 on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Police said Mayo took everything from sunglasses to shoes.

"The biggest thing that folks can do is one take valuables, any valuables you can remove your vehicle at night especially if it’s sitting outside. Lock your doors. Don’t make yourself an easy target leaving valuable items in plain sight is not recommended so minimize your chances at becoming a victim," Captain Duvanel said.

Duncan said she is one of the lucky ones after police returned her stolen house keys. She said had police not acted as quickly as they did, Mayo could have taken a lot more.

"It would have brought him back here and I’m glad that they were just so diligent in catching the guy and it makes me feel safe to know that he’s been caught," Duncan said.

Mayo is charged with 11 counts of burglary, theft, and possession of narcotics. His bail was set at $50,000.

Merriam police are asking any possible victims to call the station to reclaim their stolen belongings.