Criminals target Kansas Ave. Parade attendees

(WIBW/Danielle Martin)
By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- While hundreds lined the streets downtown for Saturday’s Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade, criminals set their eyes on cars parked along the side streets.

“There are people out there that are wanting to take advantage of this type of event,” Lt. Andrew Beightel with the Topeka Police Department said. "We had a total of three vehicle burglaries reported in the area of 10th and Harrison, and one reported criminal damage, which was somewhat in that area as well, but I don't think it was related. Then one reported motorcycle near 2nd and Jackson."

Beightel says this isn't an anomaly.

"This is unfortunately a common occurrence when you have a large influx of people,” he said.

He adds you can take steps to protect your valuables.

"One thing you can avoid being a victim is removing any of the items from your vehicle, making sure the doors are locked,” Beightel said. “A lot of our surveillance footage from other times and other crimes shows that people just walk around lifting up door handles and if the vehicle's unlocked, they can get in. If it's locked, then they can move on to the next one."

Right now, police say they are following up some leads in the criminal damage case, but they still don't have any suspect information for the burglaries or motorcycle theft.

"We were actively patrolling the area, it just unfortunately happened in a place where we weren't at at that exact time,” Beightel said. “I'm guessing other people were, so if anybody did see anything around that time, we would love to have the citizen give us a call."

If you have any information about these cases, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at (785) 234-0007.