Wichita police report rise in vandalism during pandemic

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department says while some crime is down since the pandemic started — other criminal activities like destruction to property have increased by 19%.

Approximately 1,419 cases have been reported in 2020, according to the Wichita Police Department.

“We’re seeing an increase in vandalism, tagging, serious domestic assaults,” said Chief Gordon Ramsay on WPD’s most recent Facebook live.

The Kansas Firefighters Museum says in recent weeks its storage building has been a target for vandals.

“The graffiti on the building, and I would say some gang signs and stuff like that have been increasingly greater in the past couple of weeks,” said David Wilson, spokesperson for the Kansas Firefighters Museum.

Wilson says this isn’t the first time they’ve had to notify police of illegal activity happening to one of their buildings.

“We have another metal storage unit out in front of the building, and about three weeks ago that was broken into and someone stole about $20,000 worth of items out of it,” said Wilson.”We’ve notified the community police officer at that area, we’ve let them know what is going on and they’re well aware of our concerns.”

He says their alarm system, along with vigilance from neighboring businesses, help keep an eye on the museum.

“Usually, they’ll call one of us, the vice president, the president, or myself and let us know something is going on in the neighborhood,” said Wilson.

Wilson says they hope to install surveillance cameras to their buildings soon.

“We have a possible donor that has come through to help us out with the camera system,” he added.

The museum says it hopes to cover up the graffiti within the next couple of weeks.

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