Suspect accused in string of thefts in historic KC neighborhood finally behind bars

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Monday a man, who broke into people's homes while they slept, is in jail, accused of stealing from numerous homes in Kansas City's Historic Northeast neighborhood.

People living in that old neighborhood near the Kansas City Museum say they can go back to resting easily at night, now that a man accused of multiple break-ins in the neighborhood has been arrested.

Police say Robert L. Brown, 42, is behind a string of burglaries at homes in that neighborhood that stretch back for months. When a resident asked them for help on Sunday morning, they arrested Brown, catching him in the act while carrying a duffle bag filled with stolen stuff.

“A lot of people are scared. A great number of houses were broken into,” Leslie Caplan, neighborhood association president, said.

Caplan says it was at least 10 homes; many of them broken into while people were still at home.

“He found their purse and silverware and took the car. He was very brazen in all of these,” Caplan said.

Caplan says neighbors also tell her he’s taken money, credit cards and electronics; not to mention food from their refrigerators.

“I slept so well last night because I knew he was in jail. It made a world of difference,” Caplan said.

Missouri court records show Brown is homeless, and he's done a previous jail stay, having been convicted of stealing from people's homes. Monday is his 42nd birthday. Caplan helped work with Kansas City police officers, and to warn neighbors about the break-ins.

“I said, ‘Good’,” retired doctor Bill Stout said. “At least they got the guy, so that's an improvement."

Stout says he found out about the arrest on Sunday. He's seen his neighbors broken into, and KCPD officers have helped them feel safe in their homes again.

”We've had extra patrol up here. The guys have been working with the community really well. They attend our meetings we have once per month. They've been very responsive,” said Caplan.

Caplan says there's a positive here, her neighbors have purchased security systems and cameras to keep their homes safe. As she said, “There will always be another crook.”

Brown is due in a Jackson County courtroom on July 30.