Recently there has been a noticeable increase in the number of break-ins across McPherson County.
Recently there has been a noticeable increase in the number of break-ins across McPherson County. In the month of July there were four vehicle break-ins and two home burglaries in Canton.
“We do have a suspect,” Canton Police Chief Mark Barnett said. “We just have to find and interview them.”
In most of the vehicle break-ins, items stolen were items that garnered easy money, such as cash, bank cards and checkbooks. Sellable items haven’t necessarily been the target but have been taken when the opportunity has arisen.
“People need to be sure to lock their vehicles,” Barnett said. “Don’t leave personal items in your vehicles.”
According to a nationwide survey, each year about $1.26 billion in personal items are stolen from vehicles from about 1.85 million thefts. That’s an average of about $681 per theft.
During the summer, there have been a number of arrests for burglary in McPherson County, but the number of burglaries continues to rise. Many of those apprehended were people who had trouble keeping a job and needed easy money.
“It’s unfortunate but many times it tends to be drug addicts,” said McPherson County Police Department Detective Capt. Doug Anderson. “They can’t hold a steady job and will do anything to feed their habit.”
Though there are no sure-fire ways to stop a criminal from breaking into a vehicle, there are some ways to at least deter them. Some may seem to be common sense, but still warrant consideration, Anderson said.
The first is to no matter how long a person plans to be away from the car, always lock it. A burglary can happen in just minutes, especially if the doors are unlocked. In addition, if the car has an alarm, set it.
Don’t leave valuable items in the car. Leaving cell phones, GPS devices, money and wallets in plain sight can attract a potential burglar. Even if these items are locked in a glove box, leaving a charger in plain sight indicates somewhere in the vehicle is a valuable item.
Though it’s not always accessible, try to park vehicles in well-lit areas. While not a 100 percent positive way to stop a burglary, it can be a deterrent.
Last but not least, be aware of your surroundings.
“Be observant of strange vehicles and people in your community and get descriptions,” Anderson said. “Get descriptions of the people, the vehicle and if possible a tag number.”
If there is anything suspicious happening, residents are encouraged to call 911 or McPherson Police Department office line at 620-245-1200. McPherson County Crime Stoppers also is an option. Call 620-241-1122, text at 274637 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Texts and emails are anonymous.
“Be aware of what is happening in your community,” Anderson said. “If you see something, say something.”