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Prairie Village plagued by weekend car burglaries, four teens arrested

Posted at 7:57 PM, Jul 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-22 22:36:42-04

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — It's something neighbors in Prairie Village said they don't often have to deal with, but several neighborhoods in the city experienced a rash of car burglaries during the weekend.

Four teenagers were arrested, two each on Saturday and Sunday.

During the most recent incident, two 15-year-old boys were arrested Sunday and taken to the Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center in Olathe, where they were booked for suspision of theft from a motor vehicle and interference with law enforcement.

"There's been a rash of it just recently," said Dianne Pallanich, the president of the Prairie Ridge Homes Association. 

The crime spree hit home for Pallanich, whose daughter's car had the back window shot out and her GPS stolen a few months ago.

She also learned about several car burglaries overnight Saturday near 76th Terrace and Lamar Avenue off of the App Next Door.

Two subjects — an 18-year-old male and 19-year-old male, both from Overland Park — were arrested for multiple vehicle burglaries in those incidents.

The burglaries Sunday of as many as a half-dozen cars occurred near the 4800 block of W. 77th Terrace.

Prairie Village Police Department Capt. Byron Roberson said the suspects were not breaking windows or forcing cars to open but were targeting unlocked cars.

"Someone said they left a ball cap in their yard and the fellow next door had a prescription bottle left on his deck," Pallanich said.

Police said those personal items may have been dropped when the teens tried to flee from police.

"We're pretty good at locking our car doors," resident Kahli Brock said. "Living in Prairie Village. it doesn't seem like you have to do that stuff."

Brock said the first thing she did when she learned about the burglaries was check her car.

"If I have friends coming over, I'll let them know and tell them to lock their cars," said Joan Planet, who told 41 Action News that safety was a big reason she wanted to live in Prairie Village.
Prairie Village police confirmed Sunday to 41 Action News that a resident fired a warning shot into the ground after spotting the burglary suspects during Saturday’s incidents.

Police documented the warning shot and the resident could be charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm in city limits.

Sgt. A.W. Taylor with the Prairie Village patrol division called the resident’s action “a lapse in judgment.”

“We do not condone residents to take that action,” Taylor said. “We understand the circumstance if someone is trying to break into a door and enter inside your house, but we do not recommend firing shots outside in a situation like this.”

No one else was believed to be armed during any of the incidents, Taylor said.

Pallanich said after living in Prairie Village for 50 years, she still finds it to be a safe place. She credits that to the police and a close-knit neighborhood.

"We just kind of watch out for each other," Pallanich said. "It's generally a quiet, peaceful neighborhood."

Police said to avoid being victimized, you should always take valuables out of your car and lock the doors.