‘It just startles you’: Several car windows smashed at Wichita park


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A trip to a park turned into a nightmare for a Wichita woman. Someone broke into her car, taking off with her driver’s license, credit cards and more.

This as Wichita police say they’re seeing similar crimes across the city.

The victim says some of her missing belongings cannot be replaced, and she doesn’t plan on visiting the park again anytime soon.

The trails and scenery in Swanson Park make it popular for walking. It’s what brought Aubrey Balman and her children in Tuesday.

“I got here about 9:45 yesterday morning and took about an hour walk,” said Aubrey Balman, Wichita.

But what they returned to in the parking lot, makes this visit stand out.

“It just startles you a little bit, gets you a little shaken thinking that somebody could do such a personalized act,” said Balman.

Balman says her driver’s side window was smashed, and her purse and wallet were missing, along with special mementos, like the book her daughter made her.

“That’s the one thing that I would like to have back that I’ll never get back,” said Balman.

In time, she discovered she wasn’t the only victim.

“There were other vehicles in the parking lot who had windows smashed as well,” said Balman.

Wichita police say there has been nearly 3,000 larcenies from autos this year. Lieutenant Scott Brunow estimates one third are purses and wallets.

“Just earlier today, we had another car just south of Buffalo Park on Maize as well that was broken into,” said Brunow.

Lt. Brunow says it’s important to be vigilant, advice Balman says she will keep in mind.

“Be aware of your surroundings, and really pay attention to what and who’s around you,” said Balman.

To not become the next victim, police suggest you not leave valuables in plain sight, and if you have to, they advise you lock them in the trunk.

If you have any information on these cases, you are encouraged to contact police.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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