WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An undercover Wichita Police Department officer wearing a hoodie and ball cap looked into the window of a truck at the Wichita Home Depot parking lot on Wednesday.
He opened the door of the undercover police vehicle, lifted a purse off the front seat, and slowly walked away.
“This is a way to show people to hide their valuables or put them in the trunk with the shopping season here,” said WPD officer Paul Cruz.
WPD was working with Home Depot to see if anyone would call in the larceny. It worked.
“Yeah, I called it in,” said Pastor Larry Barber. “I didn’t know what it was at first. But he never gets into a car. Ever. That means he probably doesn’t have a car. I called the manager.”
Home Depot rewarded Pastor Barber with a gift from the store.
Pastor Barber was not alone in seeing something and saying something.
Michael Asebedo was loading his truck when he saw the undercover officer.
Asebedo approached and asked what was going on.
“Hey. Hey! You like looking in other people’s cars?” yelled Asebedo.
WPD uniformed officers quickly moved in behind the undercover officer.
“Seen him walking around here, and I saw him look at that car,” said Asebedo. “Kept on walking and he looked in another car and I said, that ain’t right, so I just had to intervene.”
Officers remind you to call 911 first, but they hope their undercover operation is a good reminder this time of year.
“Really during the holidays approaching we see a lot of these,” said officer Paul Cruz. “Our community police at North Patrol came up with a different idea to promote awareness this year. Don’t leave valuables in your car.”
Asebedo said he probably should have called 911 first, but he says he couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
“We work hard for our money. I work hard for my money,” said Asebedo. “I don’t want nobody taking something that doesn’t belong to them.”
Home Depot rewarded Asebedo with a couple of gifts as well and thanked the Wichita police for promoting awareness.
“So be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you hide your items and you lock your vehicles,” said officer Cruz. “More importantly if you see suspicious activity that you report that.”
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