KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Outside Old Folks Lounge near East 24th and Lister there are two security cameras, and the assistant manager says security guards routinely patrol the grounds.
Nonetheless, on Wednesday a FOX4 crew saw a man putting up several new motion lights all around the business. The move comes after a rash of recent car break-ins outside the popular, neighborhood lounge.
“I was recently inside there because I like to come over and hang out with friends and some of the employees. They’re like my second family and the food is pretty good,” Rita Owens said.
However, Owens tells FOX4’s Robert Townsend a patron recently raced inside the lounge with news that alarmed everyone.
“He ran inside and told us that all four of the windows on his car had been broken, and yes, that someone stole his wallet and everything,” Owens said.
Owens then dashed outside and saw the rear passenger-side window on her Jeep Cherokee had been smashed, too.
“They just destroyed my vehicle, and I’m still trying to pick up all the glass from them breaking into my vehicle," she said. "They rummaged around it, but fortunately they didn’t steal anything because I never leave valuables in my Jeep. However, they did cause at least almost $200 in damage to my window."
“You can still see the pieces of glass outside the lounge where I was parked," she said. "I’m moving right now, and I just didn’t need this to happen to me. It’s so frustrating because it keeps happening.”
And she’s not alone.
The assistant manager at Old Folks said in the past month crooks broke into almost 30 of their patrons’ vehicles and stole cash, credit cards, anything they thought was valuable.
In the meantime, victims also said they shared surveillance video with police. They believe after one of the car break-ins, one of the three vandals took off in a white, four-door car.
“Whoever they are, they bust windows out first," the assistant manager said. "They don’t open the car doors, so the alarms don’t go off. They then climb through the windows and ransack peoples’ cars. I also know that about 10 to 15 of the victims had their registered guns stolen out of their vehicles.”
A police spokesperson said three guns were also recently taken from three separate vehicles parked outside the KC Juke House Bar and Restaurant in the popular 18th Street Jazz District while those car owners were inside the business.
Police are still trying to determine if those crimes are connected to the string of car break-ins that happened at Old Folks.
“I just hope they catch somebody. It’s just not right," Owens said.