Series of Thefts in Lander Focused on Electronic Devices; How to Protect Yourself
(Lander, Wyo.) – Official Reports from Lander Police Department indicate an emerging pattern of Burglaries and Thefts. From June 30 – July 11, 2017, there have been 9 incidents of Larceny, 2 incidents of Burglary, and 1 Criminal Entry.
County 10 caught up with Duane Kaiser of the Lander Police Department this afternoon and asked if the recent spike in thefts is something that Lander residents should be concerned about. “You should always be concerned about it, it’s always something to be aware of, and people should always lock their houses. Here in the past few weeks, there have been a few [incidents] scattered across town. We don’t have any suspect information, we don’t have any evidence, and we have no leads,” Kaiser responded. “Somebody is out there roaming around, picking and choosing. As far as vehicles go they’ll go till they find one unlocked, then they’ll go in.”
Thefts Have Shown a Focus on Electronic Devices
It seems as though the string of thefts has shown a focus on electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, iPods, and iPads. “We’ve had a few where check books and credit cards were laying out that they didn’t touch, they just took iPads and iPods,” Kaiser explained while noting that electronics have not been the exclusive theme of the thefts.
“There have been a couple of incidents where they took some cash that was laying out. There were a few where people could tell that their drawers had been gone through but nothing was taken. We had one where some medication was taken. I don’t know if it’s the same person or if we have a couple of people.”
“Our investigator is out right now trying to follow up on a few of them, but right now we don’t have a dang thing to go on. And they’re all happening during the day. Somebody is out there walking around, going to houses and checking doors til they find something unlocked. A few have entered front doors and a few have entered through the back door. They haven’t broken down a door or broken a window to gain access, they’ve just been walking around and looking for the unlocked doors.”
Kaiser explained that thieves used to take stolen goods to a pawn shop to sell, but with the advent of eBay and Social Media, the game has changed, “Going out and stealing things and selling them at pawn shops is a thing of the past. Once in a while, someone will try it out, but with social media, they just put it up and sell it for whatever they want. We had a lady here a few months ago that was going into the stores stealing clothes, putting them on eBay, and selling them. We got her shut down, but that’s what they’re doing.”
Steps to Protect Yourself
- Lock All Doors: Thefts have mainly been occurring during the daytime, while most people are at work. Nearly all of the incidents are connected with unlocked doors to homes or cars.
- Report Suspicious Activity: If you see someone standing around where they shouldn’t be, standing in an alley that doesn’t belong, or standing on the corner looking confused, give Lander Police Department a call.
- Document Serial Numbers on ALL Electronic Devices: None of the stolen devices have had serial numbers documented by victims, making it extremely difficult to track the stolen devices.
- Enable Anti-Theft and Recovery Features on Electronic Devices: One device that was recently stolen had anti-theft tracking enabled, allowing officers to locate the device, which had been taken across town and thrown in a ditch.