TOPEKA, Kan. - If you think your home is safe from burglars, think again. The Parish family in Topeka was among those who thought a home break-in wouldn't happen to them but Sunday it did - in broad daylight.
Jim and Karen Parish say they just stepped out to go to lunch and the library early Sunday afternoon. When they came home they found the front door as well as a door between the garage and house open, their 42" T.V., Jim's collection of an older gun collection, and Karen's jewelry box gone.
"It's like any other criminal act - you can't predict when it's gonna happen. And when it does happen it's startling," Jim said.
This isn't the first time something has been taken from the Parish's at their 29th Street home. They said a car was stolen from their driveway one night. But they said this incident held a different feeling; it happened in broad daylight, right off a busy roadway, and this time the criminal was in their home.
"I see police driving up and down 29th Street all the time. I can't say we're lacking police patrol here," Jim said. "They work hard."
Because police can't be everyone all the time, it was lucky for the Parish's that a neighbor happened to notice the suspect's station wagon backed up to the front door - a car that the neighbor hadn't seen before and looked suspicious. He called police, who arrived at the home around the same time the Parish's returned.
"If he hadn't called the police who knows. There may have been more things missing," Jim said.
Because of the neighbor's attentiveness, police were able to get to the home quickly and to get a description of the suspect and his vehicle.
Parish said he's thankful to the neighbor for paying attention and for calling police. "If you pay attention to your neighbors you're gonna know they're routine," he said. "And if something is off you're gonna realize it. Better off making the phone call than keeping your mouth shut."
Parish said the neighbor that witnessed his house being robbed said it was a green station wagon he saw in the yard. He said it appeared the burglar was alone, a white male. Parish thinks the man must have been a little larger if he was able to take the 42" plasma television down off the wall and carry it to his car.
Anyone with information on the burglary should call Crimestoppers at 234-0007. Police also say anytime you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, feel free to call and they'll check it out. Better safe than sorry.