Archive for Friday, February 18, 2005

Resident helps police thwart theft

February 18, 2005

— Police are crediting a Lansing resident's actions for thwarting what they think could have been a series of automobile burglaries early Friday in the northwest Lansing.

A 24-year-old Topeka man was arrested and is in the Leavenworth County Jail, awaiting formal charges for burglary, theft, possession of stolen property, criminal trespassing and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said a light-sleeping resident in the 800 block of Highview Court was awakened by the sound of a vehicle outside his house about 3:45 a.m. Friday. The resident, Wayman said, looked outside and saw a man looking into one of his neighbor's vehicles. The resident called police.

When police arrived minutes later, they discovered the man was wanted for a parole violation in Jefferson County. They discovered the 1998 Jeep the suspect was driving had been reported stolen a day earlier in Topeka, and they found a backpack containing seven CDs and a radar detector that had been taken from the neighbor's car.

"It looked as if he was just about to start doing a vehicle run-through," Wayman said of the suspect.

In the Jeep, police also found syringes and two baggies containing what they believe was methamphetamine. The bags have been sent to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for testing, which could lead to additional charges against the suspect.

The chief praised the resident for alerting police.

"This is a prime example of a neighbor looking out for not just himself but his neighbors," Wayman said. "He saw something that he didn't feel was right, and he called us. It worked out that he was right."

While Wayman was praising the resident, he also put in a plug for the formation of neighborhood watch groups.

"Warmer weather is coming up, and bad people don't like to do their work in cold weather any more than the rest of us do," Wayman said. "This is a great time of year, while it's still not yet warm, for groups of people to start getting these programs going."

Wayman said Sundae Hollar, the department's community outreach officer, would be happy to help any group of residents set up a neighborhood watch program. Hollar can be reached at 727-3000.

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