|Updated: 1/28 2:11 am
||Published: 1/27 5:48 pm
Lonoke Police are warning people crime is on the rise and thieves are targeting the small town.
Lonoke Police say car break-ins, business burglaries, and shoplifting are all on the rise, and police say there is only so much they can do.
Police say the easiest thing people can do to prevent from becoming a target is remove valuables from plain sight and lock doors.
A stack of reports sits on Lt. Randy Mauk's desk waiting to be solved, but the crimes keep occurring. That's why Lonoke Police are warning people burglars are preying on this trusting town. "We used to be back in the day where you could leave your door open and that's not the case anymore."
Twelve vehicles in the same neighborhood were recently broken into the same night.
Lonoke police say all but one of the cars was unlocked. Austyn Soderling lives in Lonoke and says it's real peaceful. "This is a good part of town and you don't expect people to come over here and mess with your stuff."
One homeowner caught the suspects on surveillance camera, but not before they got away with some of the neighbors belongings. John Michael Clay says his friend's truck got broken into. "He is about to leave for college so he loaded his truck up and they took most of his electronics, his headphones, his lap top, and his TV."
Commercial businesses are also getting hit. The Verizon store was burglarized four times, and the AT&T store got robbed twice. Lt. Mauk says both were smash and grabs. "They'll throw a rock through the window grab it, and by the time we get the call it's an alarm, we get up there and the only thing we find is a rock on the floor with shattered glass."
Lonoke Police are also dealing with shoplifting at Walmart, Dollar General, and the Family Dollar store more often than usual. The problem is only 2 officers are on duty per shift covering a town with a population of 5,000.
Lt. Mauk says Lonoke is an easy target. "If we're a marked unit and it's late at night, all that suspect has to do is wait for us to pass and then hit whatever he's going to hit."
Police are working with businesses to install cameras, alarms, and remove merchandise from display windows, and asking homeowners to be more cautious.
Lonoke Police are also dealing with an increase in storage unit break-ins. They recommend people buy better locks specifically designed so thieves using bolt cutters can't get inside.
Lonoke Police caught the suspects involved in three of the four Verizon store break-ins.
Police are asking everyone to take extra precautions, and report any suspicious activity.