Police to begin leaving safety notices

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Police Department announced a new safety notice citizens may start to see on vehicles left running unattended and unlocked with keys in the ignition. The new notices partner with existing notices about unlocked vehicles and are usually distributed in areas experiencing increased thefts.

A total of 101 vehicles were stolen in Ottawa from 2017 to the end of 2019. Almost all of the motor vehicles stolen were unlocked with keys left in the vehicle.

“Often officers hear from citizens that they never used to have to lock their vehicle or home in Ottawa and that is just not the case,” Ottawa Police Chief Adam Weingartner said. “I am in my 25th year of service to the department and have taken vehicle thefts and thefts from unlocked motor vehicles since my first day — my first call in training was a break in to an unlocked motor vehicle in a city parking lot in November 1995. We hope people will take advantage of technology available to them and lock cars with key fobs, park in well-lit areas and do not keep valuables in vehicles. As always, report suspicious activity to 911.”

 

Pair escape serious injury in rollover on turnpike

DOUGLAS COUNTY — A woman and man from WaKeeney escaped serious injury Monday morning in a rollover crash on the Kansas Turnpike in Douglas County, authorities said.

The crash was reported at 10:48 a.m. on westbound Interstate 70 on the turnpike. The location was about 9 miles east of Topeka.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2013 Hyundai was westbound on I-70 in the center lane when an unknown semi-trailer that was in the right-hand lane swerved into the center lane.

The Hyundai's driver swerved to the left, then over-corrected, the patrol said, swerving across the right-hand lane and shoulder and into the north ditch, where it went partially up an embankment and overturned. The Hyundai came to rest on its roof in the north ditch.

The driver of the Hyundai, Vera Mae Murphy, 61, of WaKeeney, sustained what were believed to be minor injuries. She was transported to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka. The patrol said Murphy was wearing her seat belt.

A passenger in the Hyundai, Charles Edward Murphy, 69, of WaKeeney, was reported uninjured. The patrol said he was wearing his seat belt.