KANAS CITY, Mo. – Getting in front of a problem before it gets worse. That’s a known goal for many police departments but something the Kansas City Police Department hopes hard data will help them do much faster.
“If we can identify say a burglar going after a certain neighborhood, if we can identify his method of operating in the second or the third crime, we can act on that instead of that fourth, fifth, sixth crime,” Sgt. Jonas Baughman said.
Sgt. Baughman is the man behind the numbers. He is responsible for helping leadership in the department crack down on growing issues.
“Once we see that a crime problem, or rather a pattern, is happening we want to respond quickly and effectively but with that preventative aspect in mind we want to think of long-term solutions as well so it`s just not temporary band aids,” he said.
The most pressing being a string of unique ATM thefts that all happened within the last week.
“There`s a metro wide series of ATM thefts that we are looking into. Various parts of our city and other cities on both sides of the state line are involved,” Sgt. Baughman said.
Three ATM thefts happened at three different Minit Mart convenience stores. Police said thieves cut camera wires, cracked the ATMs, and stole cash from machines in Lee’s Summit, Independence, and in Kansas City at the store on State Line Road.
“I live down the street and I have two kids so that`s more what I would think about if I was with my kids in here. That would be a bad situation. We moved here because it`s safe– so to hear that`s going on is a little unsettling,” Dominic Bove, a resident and frequent customer at the store, said.
But there is a sense of relief that police are using every tool at its disposal to try to stay ahead in this case.
“If that`s the truth then yeah, I think that`s a good thing. I think that`s what they`re there for so hopefully they stop whatever`s going on,” Bove said.
And future investigations.
“It`s very important to Chief Smith that (this process) is all compressed into a very workable, manageable, effective timeline that we`re basically being more responsive and more timely,” Sgt. Baughman said.
Police are still searching for the suspects. Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.