Burglars strike west Wichita residences during daylight

WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita police are trying to stop a string of home break-ins after an uptick is reported in a section of the city’s west side.

Police say burglars are targeting neighborhoods north of Maple and south of Central, between Maize and 119th street.

The west sector officers turned to Facebook to let people in this area know what was happening, and had two goals: Getting more information on who might be responsible and letting people know to use their alarms if they have them.

For David Hamil, it’s common to be tinkering in the garage on a typical day in what he considers a typical neighborhood.

“People leave their lights on at night and they’re aware to more security minded,” said Hamil.

Hamil said a friend’s experience made him re-think security.

“Right in the middle of the day, they just backed up walked up kicked in his door in and took his big tv set, actually that’s probably what got us thinking more about security.”

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People we spoke with said they feel safe in this neighborhood at night. It has plenty of street lights and more people have installed motion lights on their homes, but police say the lights aren’t deterring the burglars, the most recent ones happened in broad daylight.

“They’ve all forced the front door to gain entry into the home,” said Officer Charley Davidson.

Police said the thieves are taking electronics and other easy to carry items. Officers responded to three front door daylight break-ins in just the last few days.

“It’s something that we’re seeing right now and that’s why we want to encourage residents to make sure they are calling us if they see something suspicious,” said Davidson.

Riley Rathbun said she feels safe here and insists she doesn’t need to activate her home’s alarm system, but she does have her dog, Rocket.

“Is that a pretty good home security system? Yeah, I’d say so,” said Rathbun.

Lt. Espinoza with the Wichita Police offered these tips to help residents protect their homes:

  • Install a 3” deadbolt on exterior doors
  • Keep doors and windows locked
  • Close and lock garage doors at all times (even when at home)
  • Always set security alarms
  • Reduce hiding places for burglars by trimming trees and bushes away from doors and windows
  • Keep exterior lights on at night or use motion detector lights
  • Put a bar in track of sliding glass doors
  • Don’t keep spare keys hidden outside

As of now, Wichita police do not have a suspect description and that’s why they need the community’s help.

They are asking folks in this area to report any suspicious activity to the west sector community policing officer at 337-9126.

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