By: Tara Blue
On the morning of Thursday, Aug. 24th, several Ashland residents in the neighborhoods of Eagle Lakes, Southwinds, Bluegrass South, and Liberty Landing awoke to find their vehicles had been burglarized overnight. Ashland Police Department (APD) reports that three unknown suspects broke into roughly 18 vehicles between the hours of 0200-0330 and were specifically looking for guns.

According to Interim Chief Young, one of the vehicles was in an open garage and most of the burglarized vehicles were unlocked. Four firearms were among the items that have been reported stolen, including one from a citizen whose vehicle was unlocked, one from a Missouri State Highway Patrol vehicle, and one from a Jefferson City police vehicle. Chief Young reports that there was forced entry on the two police vehicles.

Although APD is short-staffed and currently employs only three full-time and four part-time officers, SGT Worrall reports that a firearm was stolen at a time when there were four sheriff’s deputies on patrol around town. Chief Young says APD is “actively investigating and is being assisted by Jefferson City PD, Columbia PD, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, and the Missouri Highway Patrol. We very much appreciate their help.”

APD would like to remind residents that while theft is always wrong, it is a good idea to close your garage, remove all visible and valuable items from your vehicle, and lock your vehicle, as these preventive actions greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim. Chief Young says that stolen firearms end up in the hands of folks who do not have lawful intent, so residents should never leave a firearm in an unattended vehicle. If you discover that your security cameras captured footage of the suspects early Thursday morning, please call 311 and visit the APD Facebook page for more information.