WICHITA, Kan. - Police say, with the end of Daylight Saving Time, they’re seeing an increase in the number of home burglaries. That's because when it gets darker earlier, it gives thieves have more time to work.Reflection Ridge in west Wichita is one neighborhood being affected. Wichita Police detectives Diane Varnell and Robert Lacy went door-to-door Thursday in search of clues about the burglar(s) who may be doing the same thing in the upscale neighborhood. "It's not normal for burglaries to occur in this area but they can occur anywhere in the city," Varnell said. "No one is exempt."
The detectives say three times in the past week burglars have broken into homes in the subdivision. Two burglaries occurred Monday night between about 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. One was in the 2600 block of Tee Time and the other in the 2700 block of Wild Rose Road. No one has yet been arrested for the crimes.
"They took jewelry, small items, cameras. Items that are easy to put in a small bag," Varnell said. Varnell says this kind of crime is common after Daylight Saving time ends. "When we have a time change where the time gets darker earlier, we have seen an increase," Varnell said.
Police say in this case, it appears burglars have made sure their timing is just right by ringing door bells and then hiding to see if anyone answers the door. "This is a possible sign they are using to see if anybody is home and then to break into the house if no one is home," Varnell said.
Police say it's likely the same person or people may be responsible for that suspicious activity and the burglaries. "Because we have similar foot patterns in both places," Varnell said. They say homeowners can take some important steps to help prevent being next.
Varnell says to check the area around your home when you leave and return. Leave lights on even when you are not home. Consider buying a device that allows you to schedule when your lights come on and turn off. Also, make sure your garage door is closed at all times when it doesn't need to be open. And, she says, get to know your neighbors. You'll have more people looking out for your home.
"Most people know who belongs in their neighborhood," Varnell said. "If they see something out of the norm, call 911 and let us check it out."