Most of us have heard the warning to lock car doors and close the garage door. But many residents still leave themselves vulnerable, for one reason or another.
Put it this way: Taking a few seconds to do those preventative measures could even stop someone from sleeping in your car.
You've heard how one story leads to another. Well, 28-year-old Adam Wiles, pictured within this story, gets things started for us in a unique way. According to police, a woman came out of her home Sunday and found Wiles sleeping in the driver's seat of her car.
"It's a little different in the fact that the subject, probably under the influence of some narcotics, actually passed out...was sleeping in the car when the people discovered him," says Carl Junction Police Chief Delmar Haase.
According to police, Wiles was wearing a cloth around his neck used to conceal his face, a hat, and a pair of black gloves. Police say he had a makeup crayon and a multi-colored woman's purse in his pocket. There was a pink Victoria's Secret bag on his lap, which belonged to the woman. But inside that bag, according to police, were items not belonging to the woman, including an electronic tire pressure gauge, a red umbrella, and a first aid kit.
Put this into perspective...
"Doesn't matter what the value of something is," says Haase. "When you're stealing something, everything is 100% profit."
Even small, inexpensive items are being stolen in the simplest of ways.
"They go driveway to driveway, checking for cars that are unlocked," says Haase.
Police say Wiles found and stole from several other unlocked vehicles before taking a snooze in the woman's car. He has been in jail since Sunday.
Thursday night, there were upwards of five other reports of stolen items from unlocked vehicles. Police say this can mean only one thing: There are more criminals like Wiles roaming Carl Junction.
"Used to be I trusted," says Carl Junction resident Barbara McKenzie.
But McKenzie is realizing her trustworthy neighborhood is open to everyone, not just her neighbors. She's going to start regularly locking her car doors, and a door to the inside of her home.
"Now, I've started locking the door from the garage to inside," says McKenzie.
Make sure you regularly close the main garage door, too.
Take one last look at Wiles.
"We'll keep these people moving around somewhere else, instead of being here," says Haase.
Police in Carl Junction say guns have, in the past, been stolen from unlocked cars; those guns have not been found.
Of course, C.J. police say these types of crimes are a problem in other cities, as well.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas