The Wichita and Andover police departments are asking for the public’s help in solving a string of burglaries.
At least 14 similar residential burglaries – nine in Andover and at least five in Wichita – have occurred between Nov. 7 and Dec. 18, police officials said Tuesday.
Thieves have forced their way into homes by prying open rear or side entrances. They have taken mostly small items such as money, jewelry or firearms. Burglars sometimes have also taken items like backpacks to carry their loot.
Police think these crimes were carried out by a group of two or three people. No more information about the burglaries was released due to the ongoing investigation.
While the Wichita Police Department is running extra patrols in an attempt to catch the burglars, residents can also work to prevent break-ins and help catch thieves when burglaries occur.
Police say residents should leave lights on in their home while they are gone, know the serial numbers or leave identifying marks on their valuables, and know their neighbors and neighborhoods.
“If there is somebody there who clearly doesn’t belong, you should probably call the police department,” said Lt. Steve Harryman of the Wichita Police Department.
A $1,000 reward has been offered for information regarding the burglaries. The reward was donated by the Collision Center of Andover, Andover Towing and Recovery, and the Andover Police and Fire Foundation.
A reward of up to $2,500 is also being offered by the Wichita/Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers. While Andover isn’t in Sedgwick County, it is a part of the community, said Gordon Bassham, executive director of the Wichita Crime Commission.
“Although it is in Butler County, a lot of people who live in Andover work in Wichita and vice versa,” Bassham said. Crime Stoppers is a division of the nonprofit Wichita Crime Commission.
Anyone with information about the burglaries or stolen items may contact Crime Stoppers at wichitasedgwickcountycrimestoppers.com or Butler County Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Reach Anthony Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.