Lenexa police officers arrested four suspects from Arkansas last weekend in connection to a series of vehicle burglaries around the Kansas City metro area.
Lenexa Police Sgt. Ryan Sumner and his K-9 partner, Leo, conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle on Feb. 22 in the 9700 block of Lenexa Drive. Sumner initially stopped the vehicle on routine traffic violations, but it also matched the description of a suspect vehicle from an auto theft the day before at Lenexa Life Time at West 90th Street and Renner Boulevard.
Danny Chavez, public information officer for the Lenexa Police Department, said Sumner’s investigation led him and police detectives to tie it to the burglary and potentially others in Johnson County.
Alexis Adams and Raven Freeman, both age 20, and Lincoln Brison, 24, all of Little Rock, were each charged with one count of identity theft. They were each booked into Johnson County Detention Center on a $100,000 cash-surety bond. Their court dates are set for 10 a.m. March 7 in District Court 19 at the Johnson County Courthouse. Dejon Dokes, 25, of Sherwood, was charged with a misdemeanor possession of MDMA (ecstasy), after K-9 officer Leo discovered ecstasy in the vehicle. He remains in custody on a $5,000 cash-surety bond. His trial is also set for 10 a.m. March 7 in District Court 19.
Chavez said these types of crimes are committed by people who travel across the country to burglarize vehicles. They typically target health clubs, daycares, parks and “places where people would be inclined to leave a purse in the vehicle.”
These types of criminals have signature behaviors such as stealing credit cards and purchasing large amounts of gift cards “to layer themselves away from a stolen credit card,” Chavez said. Or, they steal checkbooks and cash checks to themselves in the drive-through lane furthest from a bank teller, so it becomes more difficult for a teller to identify them; hence the slang term “Felony Lane Gang,” (although it’s not a specific gang).
“The way they usually commit these burglaries is peruse these lots, find a purse, smash the window and steal it and immediately go start using the credit cards,” Chavez said, adding that these criminals often have women assist with the crimes because they can more easily pretend to be a victim.
These criminals may spend two or three days in a particular area before moving someplace else, Chavez said, adding that it makes it difficult to investigate.
“Even in the Kansas City area, they’re going from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so our officers have to talk to Olathe, Shawnee, the sheriff’s department,” Chavez added. “They’re not Lenexa kids committing Lenexa crimes.
“We have been fortunate over the last year or two to arrest several of these folks. It’s pretty hard for any agency to make these arrests, and I think we’ve had better luck than most. We educate our officers on what to look for in these types of crimes.”