Vehicle break-ins on the rise

By Maura Wery

Riley County Police Department Capt. Kurt Moldrup reported Monday that the department was seeing an increase in vehicle burglaries. Moldrup took time during the Riley County Commission meeting to remind the public that many vehicle burglaries can be prevented with one key step.

“Lock up your car,” Moldrup said. “These burglaries are so preventable if we could just get those cars locked.”

Moldrup wanted to emphasize that step in anticipation of students coming back into town because there will be more vehicles for criminals to burglarize. He said students need to remember that items in their yards are also vulnerable to thieves. Bikes are a key example of items that are easily stolen from around homes.

Moldrup said students should take care to lock up their homes properly when they leave. With the upcoming cooler weather, it’s more common for people to leave their windows and homes unlocked, but he said that gives thieves a target for burglary.

He also reminded incoming students about keeping their noise level to a minimum when they have parties.

“We encourage students to have parties, but to keep them under control,” Moldrup said. He said one way to do that is to limit how many people are invited. He also wants homeowners to be aware about minors consuming alcohol, and he encouraged neighbors to make contact with police who are called to the neighborhood.

“If you see the police, go ahead and make contact,” Moldrup said. “Officers want to build a relationship.”

Downtown project delayed

Damp conditions have caused the Downtown Manhattan beautification project to fall a bit behind schedule. Gina Scroggs, executive director of Downtown Manhattan, said for every day of rain it takes two days for things to dry back out.

“I lovingly refer to it as Poyntz Lake,” Scroggs said of the current conditions following several days of rain in the past week.

She said that despite the backups, workers remain positive and are checking in with her multiple times during the week.

Scroggs said the next progression will come after crews finish up the north side of Fourth and Poyntz, tentatively at the end of the week. She said at that point, the work will switch over to the south side of the street.

The project which started at the beginning of the summer, will go through the fall and will add new sidewalks, lightposts, lamps, trees, accents and curbs to the Downtown area.

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