KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Car break-ins are on the rise in Kansas City, a trend police say has been on the rise for the past five years.
Now, over the past six months, police said kids “young enough it would shock you” are attempting to steal cars. Plus, they are trying to get their hands on car keys inside metro restaurants.
The owner at the Granfalloon Restaurant & Bar, Tim Caniglia, said it happened in seconds.
A group of teens walked in the front, then a few walked up the bar, while the others went around back. The owner didn’t realize it was a distraction to steal until too late.
“They came in and were gone,” Caniglia said.
In the time it took to ask for a cup of water, the other half of the group of teens were able to find the employee room in the back. Their distraction worked.
“The first time they got through a couple purses of a couple of our servers and they took money, wallets, which obviously had licenses,” Caniglia said.
Police said the group of teenagers were bold and walked in confidently. However, Caniglia caught on fast. The time they tried to walk in, they were stopped at the door.
Officers have now tied the group of kids to around 50 open investigations.
“It’s sad,” Caniglia said. “They are at 13, 14 years old and they are out doing that and I know they are hitting other restaurants, too.”
“It’s a shame,” said Ferguson. “It’s a real shame”
The group hit Q39 a few times.
Assistant General Manager Todd Ferguson said it started in the fall. The first time, they took a couple of car keys out of the staff’s coat pockets hanging near the back door. Then, just this past Sunday, some teens tried to steal from them again.
Security cameras caught them running away.
“They just looked like they were on the prowl, looked like they were trying to see if they could get something,” Ferguson said. “It wasn’t right.”
Police said three of the teens were arrested.
They are aware this is a problem and are readjusting staffing to stay on top of it.
“If you’re listening, we know who your friends are, we know who your associates are, and we know where you sleep,” said Major Scott Caron, Division Commander over the Property Crimes Division.
Police said the kids have their full attention. Right now, they are investigating additional suspects.
Business owners and managers said they plan to stay on alert.