SHAWNEE, Kan. — An investigator with the Shawnee Police Department says most people think their car is safe in the driveway and leave it unlocked. But 75 percent of recent auto burglaries in Shawnee happened because vehicles were unlocked.
Sandra Arneson says her home security system captured a woman checking her husband’s locked vehicle and then opening her jeep and taking a loaded gun, a Garmin navigation system and two expensive stethoscopes.
The incident happened early Saturday morning.
“This is a pretty safe neighborhood, pretty nice neighborhood,” Arneson said. “You don’t expect it to happen here.”
Arneson didn’t want to show her face, but says she has to face the fact that she left her car unlocked and now her gun could end up hurting someone.
“You feel like your house ought to be a safe place to be,” she said. “I usually always lock my doors and was distracted and forgot this time, so they were able to take advantage of that.”
Todd Zars assumes the same woman took his checkbook out of his unlocked work van that was sitting in his driveway across the street from Arneson’s house. Now he says he’s dealing with a banking nightmare.
“If I cancel right now then the two outstanding checks that I have are obviously going to get returned,” Zars said.
If he doesn’t, he fears the crooks will clean out his account.
Andre Dory also has a home security system and caught a woman and a man checking his wife’s car and his van to see if it was open. Luckily it was not, but he says the pair took a cooler he had in his driveway.
“They were jiggling the doors just to see if they are unlocked and that seems to be what’s going on,” he said. “If they’ve got an easy catch, they open the door, they get all your stuff and out they’re gone. If the door is locked they move on.”
Shawnee police say they don’t know if these burglaries are connected, but they’re investigating.
“I would hope someone will step forward and say I know her or I know him,” Dory said. “They are not invisible. Obviously you can see who they are.”
Shawnee police urge people to keep valuables out of sight and to lock vehicles — even if they’re sitting in your driveway.