By A.K. Dugan
Thefts from local homes and cars were up in December, based on anecdotal information from daily police logs. Numbers for the month are not yet available.
As of last Friday, police had made arrests in one residential theft and one car prowl and theft.
Detective Sgt. Frank Stevenson said officers are working on leads and hoping to make more arrests. Fingerprints left at some crime scenes may give police additional suspects or leads to look into.
Eric Gilstrap, 30, and Cody Williams, 26, were arrested Dec. 20 in Junction City in connection with a burglary that was reported Dec. 13. They were charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy to commit burglary.
Both live in Junction City, Stevenson said, and were guests in the S. 12th Street home where the alleged burglary occurred. Police are looking for three more suspects in the same case.
Items taken from the home, including firearms, electronics and tools, have not been recovered, though police hope to do so.
On Dec. 15, police arrested Daniel M. Hansen, 28, at his Lebanon home in connection with a car prowl reported on Dec. 6. He was charged with second-degree theft and second-degree criminal mischief.
Stevenson said Hansen told police he saw the purse in a vehicle in the 0-99 block of W. Sherman Street and it “was an easy target.”
According to the police log at the time, the suspect broke out a window to get in the vehicle.
The crime was caught on a video surveillance system, leading to Hansen’s arrest.
Stevenson said the thefts, which all seem to be crimes of opportunity, do not appear to be the work of just one person.
He asks the public to report any and all suspicious activity to the police department. Crimes in progress may be reported to 911; other calls should go to LPD at 541-451-1751.
He advises not trying to contact suspects but to call police. Get a description of suspects and any vehicles, including bicycles, connected with suspects.
Don’t leave valuables in vehicles, or at least put them where they can’t be seen. Most of the time, thieves look in car windows for an easy target, what Stevenson called a “smash and grab situation.”
Lock your vehicle, even if you’re only going to be away from it for a few minutes.
“It only takes a very brief second for a thief to enter a vehicle and take items,” he said.