Metro residents fed up with thieves brazenly targeting vehicles

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- “We work early in the morning, so we can't be up all night watching our property,” Kevin Worley, a Westport resident, said.

There’s been a jump in cases of stolen cars and theft from cars in the metro.

Police say more than 2,000 cars have been stolen since the beginning of 2017.

98 of those vehicle thefts were reported in just the last two weeks alone in the metro.

Westport is just one of the areas thieves are targeting. The Plaza and River Market are also getting hit hard.

“The amount of riff-raff going through there is just incredible,” Worley added.

Worley has lived in Westport for about two years. He's one of many victims of theft offenses in the metro area, but he's caught many of them on this surveillance camera.

“They busted out my back window, stole all my tools; that was the first time. They broke into my neighbor’s car, stole some items out of it, then also the most recent one, they went through my finance's car,” Worley said.

Worley said it's happening so often, people are just leaving doors unlocked so they don't have to pay for a busted window.

“It's pointless. They will bust out your window if they want to get in your vehicle,” Worley explained.

There have been 353 more larceny and theft offenses now compared to this time last year -- a six percent increase.

“It's disconcerting, you know. It makes you not want to sleep at night because you're constantly thinking you're going to wake up in the morning and have another episode, that someone broke into something else. We don't want them to get brave and start moving forward on bigger crimes because usually if it's not handled at a lower level, they just get braver. That's how people think,” Worley said.

Worley works in security and decided to put cameras in after losing thousands of dollars' worth of property.

“After my van window got broken into, I do this professionally, so I just said, 'why not?' We just wanted to see what's going in and out and the traffic and stuff,” Worley said.

And although the statistics show crime is up, he said just from what he sees on social media neighborhood groups, he thinks the number is probably higher.

“You see them every day. I don't think that number is actually accurate because a lot of people won't report them because they're a misdemeanor and petty. By the time you take off work, file a police report, you end up losing more than just the change in your center console,” Worley said.

Worley said he would like to see patrols stepped up late at night. He asks if you recognize anyone in the video to call police or the TIPS hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

To see more crime statistics in the metro, click here.