Car break-ins leave neighbors annoyed

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Multiple car break-ins were reported Monday in the southwest Topeka area.

Security camera footage from a residence in the 2700 block of Osborn appears to show people attempting to break into multiple vehicles. In the video you can see a car alarm go off and the subjects holding flash lights begin running. The video was posted onto the Topeka Real Time News/Police Scanner Facebook page Tuesday morning by Meredith Royston.

“I came out and the passenger door was unlocked and the alarm was going off, but the people who broke it in were long gone,” Zach Schawo, who got his car broken into said.

Schawo said he has lived near 27th and Osborne, in Topeka, for 4 years and break-ins have been happening to him for the past 2 years. He said his car was locked and he left nothing valuable inside, but thieves were still able to get inside and steal change. Now, he wants to help others who are going through the same problem.

“Get alarms on your cars if you don’t have them — that’s the best thing,” Schawo said. “Once they hear the alarm, they start running. Get cameras on your house. A lot of us have cameras.”

It’s because of people like his neighbor, Merideth Royston that he was able to see how Monday night unfolded. She has a security camera in her front window.

Macie Watson, a Topeka resident, said there were multiple vehicle break-ins in her neighborhood and she believes the subjects caught on Royston’s security camera are the same group.

However, car break-ins aren’t just in their neighborhood. Ashley Christiansen lives near Gage and Huntoon, in Topeka. She said she had her car broken into on Monday morning before daylight.

“It was trashed,” Christiansen said. “Papers everywhere, things gone through. The only thing taken was a Tech 9 CD, of my husband’s. There was lots of other things. There were sunglasses on the dash they didn’t touch.”

Christiansen said she moved from a smaller town a few years ago and didn’t have to worry about car break-ins. Now, she said, she has learned her lesson.

“It will stay locked,” Christian said. “My husband will check it nightly….again not keeping valuable things in there.”

Both Christiansen and Schawo think the burglars are teens, because of what was stolen.

Lt. Colleen Stuart, with the Topeka Police Department, said there were four reported calls in the area overnight related to vehicle burglaries. Two were reported in the area of 14th and Westport, one in the 6400 block of SW 23rd and one in the 5800 block of SW 28th Terrace.

No arrests have been reported in these incidents.

Just a week ago, Topeka police investigated a string of car burglaries in west/central Topeka. One adult and four juveniles were arrested in relation to that incident. CLICK HERE

Anyone who finds they have been a victim of overnight vehicle burglaries in these areas are asked to call the Topeka Police Department at 785-368-9551 or Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.


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