Kalamazoo police warn residents to lock vehicle doors after a rash of break-ins

Kalamazoo police warn residents to lock vehicle doors after a rash of break-ins.{ } (WWMT/Courtesy Kalamazoo Township Police)

Police in Kalamazoo are investigating a string of vehicle break-ins including one where the thief stole a gun.

Kalamazoo Township police said car burglaries are common in the summer when it's warm and people are out. They call it a crime of opportunity and in many cases a thief will go door to door to find an open one they can rummage through.

It only takes a few seconds.

Thieves were caught on camera stealing items from a car parked in a driveway on Pinehurst Avenue.

Passersby have no clue and likely can't see what's going on.

Police say the burglary caught on camera is one of at least five that have happened in the area over the last week.

Neighbors are aware summer is primetime for crime.

Don Lonsway said, “The garage doors need to stay locked, cars locked, otherwise people are thieves of opportunity."

Kalamazoo Township police are investigating the thefts and are concerned because a handgun was stolen.

Kalamazoo Township Police Lt. Scott Jackson said, “Stolen fire arms in the community presents quite a bigger problem because people who are stealing them are probably going to be more prone to committing crimes with those stolen fire arms as well."

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said three stolen handguns were seized and three suspects were taken into custody over the weekend.

Jackson reminds people thefts can happen within seconds and most can be prevented by simply locking a door.

He said, “I will always recommend that the community be vigilant. If they see something, say something."

Township police are still looking for the suspects in the video. Jackson believes they may be involved in multiple other car burglaries.

Lonsway, a Kalamazoo Township resident who said he has been a theft victim before, never forgets to bring things inside.

He said, “I'm not afraid of my kids being out here. It just seems like if you leave something unlocked it get stolen."

Police said vehicle thieves target items they can clearly see, like change in the cup holder or electronics.

They suggest bringing items inside and, at the very least, lock the door.