‘Be vigilant’ — Northeast JoCo sees uptick in auto thefts, burglaries

The Westwood Police Department is encouraging residents and the general public to try the #9PM routine to deter criminals from breaking into or stealing cars. File photo.

Recently, there’s been an uptick in auto thefts and burglaries across northeast Johnson County and police officers have a message for residents: lock your car doors.

Lenexa’s stolen car reports have more than doubled in 2020, while Merriam has had an 83% uptick. Leawood is experiencing auto theft at more than six times the rate of 2019, while Shawnee’s auto theft increase is less dramatic at 17%.