After an investigation using bike patrols, unmarked surveillance vehicles and video surveillance, Ottawa law enforcement announced this week possible closure to a rash of vehicle break-ins.


During the month of March and April several areas on the west side of Ottawa, between 5th and 11th Streets, experienced a rash of thefts from unlocked motor vehicles, Ottawa police officials said.


A break in the case came when an officer reviewing items that were pawned at area pawn shops identified items believed to have been stolen from someone in Ottawa. The items were located at a pawn shop in Olathe and were unique enough to be easily identified. The officers contacted a potential owner and determined the items were stolen from a structure in the 700 block of W. 7th Street in April.


The victim reported that an unknown suspect entered the structure and stole two very distinct collectible model cars. The victim also reported unlocked vehicles had been entered but nothing else was stolen.


During this investigation officers identified and interviewed a suspect who was in the Franklin County Adult Detention Center on unrelated charges. Based on the evidence collected during the investigation the department has sent a formal request for charges against the suspect to the Franklin County Attorney’s Office; until an arrest warrant or formal charges are filed the suspect’s name will not be released.


“We will repeat our safety message as much as we need to; you can do your part and help reduce crime in Ottawa by locking your vehicles,” said Police Chief Adam Weingartner. “I often hear from victims of unlocked car thefts that they would rather have someone break into their unlocked car than damage a window. While I understand their concerns about that, we can say for sure that during this rash of break-ins, and many similar in the past few years, have happened to people almost exclusively with unlocked motor vehicles.”


The police department reminds citizens to please lock their vehicles, take valuables inside and turn on porch lights. Suspicious activity can be reported by calling 911 immediately.


Information or video on this or any other burglary case, can be submitted to Detective Josh Pence at 785-242-2561, ext. 7420. Video and tips can also be forwarded to Detective Josh Pence at jpence@ottawaks.gov.