In the last week, at least a dozen Center Grove residents have found items missing from their vehicles, and now the sheriff’s office is asking people to park in their garage or take valuables, such as purses or guns, inside at night.
The thefts in the past week all occurred within 3 miles of each other, and investigators suspect they are related, Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said.
Deputies will be spending extra time patrolling the area, but Cox also wants residents to protect themselves, he said.
Residents should park their vehicles inside a garage, lock doors and don’t leave valuables, especially guns, in their car overnight, Cox said. If items have to be left in a vehicle, they should be left out of sight in the trunk, he said.
Over the weekend, the sheriff’s office was called to four neighborhoods along Peterman Road, where six residents reported a handgun, laptops, tools and CDs were stolen from unlocked cars. The thefts occurred in the Fairview Heights, Foxberry Trace, Wood Creek Terrace and Spring Meadow subdivisions.
The reports follow eight thefts reported over the last week in Wakefield and Hunter’s Pointe neighborhoods, in which a handgun, three pairs of sunglasses valued at $300, a radar detector, a knife and other items were stolen.
In total, the sheriff’s office has gotten at least 14 theft reports of thefts, but the actual number is likely much higher, Cox said.
Cox estimates that for every theft that is reported, another theft isn’t called in because a resident decides it isn’t worth the trouble to contact authorities.
He wants anyone who has been a victim of theft to file a report, he said.
“When people make reports, it gives us an idea of what area has been hit,” Cox said.
Investigators will be checking for surveillance video in the areas where the thefts were reported, and residents in those neighborhoods who have security cameras are encouraged to check the video and report anything suspicious, he said.
Anyone with information about the thefts can contact the sheriff’s office tip line at 317-346-4654.