Police believe three teens who were taken into custody Thursday morning may be responsible for as many as 30 vehicle burglaries in the Leavenworth area.
And authorities are wanting to hear from people who may have been victims of the burglaries, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.
"They may have been going on for several weeks," Nicodemus said of the car burglaries.
He said police have recovered some stolen items.
The teens were arrested after the Leavenworth Police Department received a report of suspicious activity in the 2800 block of South 15th Street. The call came in at 2:33 a.m. Thursday.
The caller reported that someone had gotten out of a vehicle and entered two cars that were parked in a driveway. The man then went back to his own vehicle with something in his hands. He then drove off.
"The citizen provided a description of the car," Nicodemus said. "We put out an attempt to locate."
A short time later, an officer spotted a car matching the description in the area of 10th Avenue and Ironwood Drive. The officer stopped the 2007 Ford Focus. Three people were taken into custody ― a 16-year-old Lansing boy, a 17-year-old Leavenworth boy and an 18-year-old Leavenworth man. The 18-year-old man was the driver of the car, and he's believed to have been the person who was reportedly seen in the 2800 block of South 15th Street.
"Officers located some stolen property in the vehicle," Nicodemus said.
The suspects were brought to the police station and interviewed. They were arrested for allegations of burglary and theft. The 16-year-old boy and 17-year-old boy were taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. The 18-year-old man was taken to the Leavenworth County Jail.
Nicodemus said police believe the teens allegedly entered about 30 vehicles looking for things to steal. All of the vehicles are believed to have been left unlocked.
Investigators also have reason to believe some of the vehicle burglaries may have occurred in Lansing.
"We are working with the Lansing (Police Department)," Nicodemus said.
He said police recovered items such as iPods, pocket knives, police scanners and GPS units which are believed to have been stolen from vehicles.
Nicodemus said anyone who notices anything missing from a vehicle needs to make a report to the police. He said authorities will try to determine if the case is related to three suspects. Police also will try to determine if they have recovered any of the victim's property.
The deputy chief said knowing something such as serial number or having placed one's own mark on an item may be helpful in proving who owns it.
Page 2 of 2 - Nicodemus said police also would like to hear from anyone who has found a strange cell phone in his or her vehicle. Police believe one of the suspects lost his own cell phone in a burglarized vehicle.
"He apparently was using it as a flashlight," he said.
The Leavenworth Police Department can be reached at 913-651-2260.