Wichita police say they’ve nabbed a suspected burglar who allegedly broke into several office buildings and businesses across the city and in surrounding areas over at least the past two weeks.
The alleged thief stole a variety of credit cards, cash, tools and electronics as well as personal information during the break ins, Wichita police spokesman Officer Charley Davidson said.
Police arrested 42-year-old Robert James Anderson III of Wichita early Friday morning in the 3400 block of East Orchard and booked him into the Sedgwick County Jail at 10:07 a.m., Davidson said. He’s facing a litany of criminal charges including at least 19 counts of burglary, two counts of aggravated burglary, 10 counts of attempted burglary, 13 counts of theft, 13 counts of criminal damage to property and one count each of criminal possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of marijuana.
Davidson didn’t immediately know exactly how many businesses had been hit during the burglary spree. But he said the investigation could lead to additional criminal allegations against Anderson if officers uncover more stolen property in the coming days.
Office buildings and businesses were among the main targets. Anderson is the only suspect police sought in connection with the burglary trend, Davidson said.
Police found a cache of stolen goods tied to the burglarized properties when Anderson was arrested, as well as a rifle, Davidson said. The 42-year-old has a history of felony convictions in Sedgwick County including robbery, burglary, theft and forgery — some of which stretch back into the 1990s, online Kansas Department of Corrections records show. On Friday afternoon, he was being held in the jail in lieu of $60,000 bond, an online log of jail inmates shows.
The crime spree prompted Wichita police to warn local businesses and office building managers, some of whom urged tenants to stop keeping cash, gift cards and credit cards on site, shut down computers before heading home and lock up personal information.
Davidson said the police department plans to present its investigation into the burglaries to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide what charges Anderson might face in court. That decision could come as early as next week.