Rowdy on the roads: Northeast Johnson County police warn of stolen cars

Prairie Village police inspected the stolen FedEx truck after the chase came to an end near 71st and Belinder Wednesday night. Photo submitted by reader Toby Fritz.
Prairie Village police inspected the stolen FedEx truck after the chase came to an end near 71st and Belinder Wednesday night. Photo submitted by reader Toby Fritz.

Wednesday’s crazy FedEx truck chase that ended in Mission Hills wasn’t the only stolen vehicle case to impact the area lately.

Fairway police on Wednesday sent a reminder to residents not to leave their cars left running to warm up. As in year’s past, local law enforcement has already responded to calls of cars stolen straight from their owners’ driveways. Police Chief Mike Fleming notes in the message that both Fairway and Roeland Park had experienced the problem, and that “in one instance the owner was very near the car and was almost run down when the thief took off with it.”

Fleming’s full note is copied below:

Dear Fairway Resident:

The arrival of the cold weather brings with it the problem of unlocked automobiles left running in driveways to warm up. Every year citizens across the metro are victimized by car thieves who can spot a car with the engine running from blocks away. It takes seconds for somebody to run up your driveway, open a car door, and drive away. The car is just one concern; usually the key ring has your house and maybe an office key on it, a key to other cars you own, or in some cases a pouch that has your ID and credit cards. In some instances you may have already left you phone or tablet in the car while you go back inside to get a small child. Recently Fairway and Roeland had cars stolen from driveways that were running; in one instance the owner was very near the car and was almost run down when the thief took off with it.

Please remember that leaving an unlocked car running unattended, even for a short period of time, is illegal. I understand the desire and need to have a warm car, especially where small children are concerned, so please consider the following;

If you must start your car and leave it- lock the doors and use a spare key to get back in.
A remote start can be purchased for a very reasonable fee (compared to a deductable) and will prevent anybody from steeling the car.
Do not leave valuables in the car. If they get your car don’t give them the means to destroy you financially. Identity theft, credit card fraud, and check fraud will occur if the wrong people have your information.
A few simple preventative measures can save you a tremendous amount of grief. Thank you and remember to call 911 anytime you see a person unfamiliar to you enter a neighbors car or garage.

The scene shortly after the driver of the truck was apprehended. Photo by Toby Fritz.
The scene shortly after the driver of the truck was apprehended. Photo by Toby Fritz.