Recent damage to cars in Prairie Village was about vandalism, not burglary, police say

New_PV_Police_CarA spate of car vandalism that occurred across Prairie Village Saturday appears to have been with the intent to create damage rather than to enter the cars to take items, according to Prairie Village police.

The seven cars that were damaged were hit with a pellet gun or BB gun, according to Byron Roberson of the Prairie Village Police Department. Roberson said the incidents were spread over the city. While Prairie Village has seen this type of vandalism before, Roberson said, they are infrequent with sometimes years between incidents. It can be hard to get leads in the case, he added, because the noise is low and the weapons are easy to conceal.

Most of the victims didn’t know until Sunday morning that they had been vandalized. When vandals were apprehended in the past, they were juveniles, he said.

Recent home break-ins in Prairie Village and an attempted break-in in Fairway appear to be random, he said. The high probability of finding something of value can draw burglars, Roberson said, even though police have heavy patrols and try to be proactive from saturation in areas that have seen a spike in crime to notifying residents when garage doors are left open at night.

Roberson estimates up to 95 percent of car burglaries are to cars left unlocked and often with valuable in plain view. His advice to residents includes to lock doors, close garages at night and when you can’t see who is coming in – such as working in the backyard. Motion lights work well, Roberson said. “Some people say they don’t lock their cars because they don’t want the criminal to break their window, but all this creates is more criminal elements coming to town because of more fruitful targets,” he said. Residents should call 911 anytime they see something suspicious so police can check it out.

Heavy police activity near 79th and Rosewood earlier this week was related to a rollover accident, which may have involved alcohol, Roberson said, and not to a break-in.