BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Frustration is growing for some Blue Springs homeowners who say their property crime cases aren’t being fully investigated.
Vicki Briles said she’s been the victim of multiple home invasions and thefts, and police haven’t investigated any of them.
“Our one incident personally cost us $30,000. That’s what the insurance didn’t pay for,” Briles said. “I see people — this is a busy road — roaming up and down the road. It puts me on high alert. Instantly. We have Ring cameras all over the outside, but that doesn’t stop them.”
Like many cities, people living in Blue Springs said they have noticed an increase in crime, especially in the last few years.
According to city crime statistics, majority of the crimes are property crimes.
Briles said in one case, surveillance and physical evidence left behind wasn’t enough to prosecute. Instead, complaints resulted in finger-pointing between police staff and the Jackson County prosecutor.
In correspondence between Briles and Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, the prosecutor said her file rate was high for these types of cases, reporting at 87%.
“We file approximately 87% of the cases presented to us by police in this category. But I can’t make the police submit cases to me,” Baker wrote. “If they don’t do the work, I never see the case. These cases are generally very hard for police to solve. So very few are ever submitted to me for a review to file (hence, my very high file rate on the ones that come my way). However, if police have a chance to solve this type of case, I expect that will be submitted.”
Still, Briles is frustrated and wants police to do more.
“I know that they can’t deter all crime. That’s not reasonable. Everybody that’s robbed is not going to recover their property. That’s not reasonable, but there’s no deterrence,” Briles said.
“That’s where my issue comes from is if criminals know that nobody is going to look at the evidence, nobody is looking at videos, nobody is taking fingerprints, what is there to deter them? I just want somebody to care.”
Police tell FOX4 they’re the doing everything they can to investigate these crimes.
“We are responding to calls for service and investigating all crimes as usual, nothing has changed despite what is being said on social media,” Blue Springs Police Chief Bob Muenz said.
“Yes, we are short-staffed right now, and yes, there have been some pandemic-related challenges. But they are no different than anyone else is facing at this time. We are still handling calls, arresting violators and taking investigative action where there is enough evidence to do so.”
Residents are voicing their concerns at a rally scheduled outside the Blue Springs Police Department at 2 p.m. Thursday. Muenz is expected to attend.