Northeast KC residents fed up with thefts

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Residents in one northeast Kansas City neighborhood are fed up with a long string of thefts. One homeowner on Ewing Street says she's seen everything from bikes and lawnmowers to patio furniture and garden gnomes get lifted.

Some homeowners have even turned to signs, pleading for their stuff back.

"Quit stealing my stuff," a sign read near 12th Terrace and Belmont Avenue. It went on, "Can I have my lawnmower back?"

A homeowner who didn't want to go on camera said the crooks have been taking stuff for weeks and storing it in a house a few blocks away from her home. She told us she saw her own stuff on their porch. She's also seen the crooks take bicycles and stuff them into a mini-van.

"My neighbor came out and said these guys are stealing bikes and he'd seen them drive by before," said Chad Johnson, who lives several miles away from the other homeowner.

He said he saw the van early Thursday morning. He said there were more than a half-dozen children's bikes in the van. He and a neighbor chased it down the street, but after the driver spotted Johnson he drove away.

After the incident, Johnson's girlfriend took to Facebook and found out thefts just like that had been happening throughout the northeast part of the city.

"You name it, if it's not nailed down, they're taking it," said Jessie Mathews.

Neither one is surprised that the burglars have expanded their territory, but both say it needs to stop.

"I have a kid and I'd be pretty upset and he'd be even more upset if his bike was stolen," said Johnson. "This type of stuff shouldn't be happening."

Police have stepped up patrols in the area trying to catch the people responsible. But Johnson says if they come back to his neighborhood, he would be ready.

"I'm probably going to call the police and chase them down again. They're not going to be doing that stuff around here," he said. "This is our community and there are families. You can't do that."

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