Someone has been illegally entering vehicles, garages and some homes in Kenai neighborhoods off Forest Drive for the past three weekends, and police are increasing patrols in hopes of putting an end to the mischief.
So far, not much other than music CDs has been taken from the mostly unlocked vehicles, but one resident did report a firearm taken from a garage and another reported a hunting knife taken from a vehicle.
The crime wave began Halloween weekend when a house on Cindy Lane and several vehicles on Maple Drive, Walnut Avenue, Cypress Drive and North Forest Drive were entered.
Vehicle owners reported finding their vehicles and glove compartments open and gone through. One resident reported her purse missing from one of the vehicles, but the purse was later found underneath the vehicle.
The following weekend, the criminals moved to the North Gill Street neighborhood, where vehicles were gone through on Eadies Way, Gill Street and Haller Street. Some vehicles on Cindy Circle also were rifled through.
At the Eadies Way address, thieves entered a garage and vehicle and stole a purse containing a checkbook, credit cards and $100 in cash.
Thieves on Haller Street went through a car and attempted to enter a garage and a home.
During the past weekend, vehicles were broken into on Birch Street, where credit cards were taken.
Thieves then entered a garage on South Gill Street and sprayed a vehicle with a fire extinguisher. The perpetrators stole spray paint from the garage and spray painted two vehicles on North Gill Street, a garage door on Third Avenue and a house on Tanaga Avenue.
"They painted profanities and taunting remarks toward police," said Kenai Police Sgt. Gus Sandahl on Monday.
Sandahl said police are directing more patrols to the neighborhoods day and night in hopes of catching the criminals, and he asks that residents report any suspicious activity or anyone walking around the neighborhood at night.
"Report it to us and we'll come and check them out," he said.
"We've had a few reports by people saying they heard something in the night, but didn't get up to investigate. Then they went to their vehicle in the morning and found someone had gone through it," he said.
"If people hear something, or a motion light goes on in the middle of the night, they should get up and check it out. If they see someone, they should give us a call," Sandahl said.
"If it's urgent, they should call 911," he said.
One resident did call police Saturday night to report seeing two people appear to be trying to get into a car, but responding police were unable to locate the suspects.
Sandahl said residents should lock their doors, day and night and install deadbolt locks if they don't already have them. Vehicles should be locked and valuables should be kept out of sight.
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