A group of 18-20 citizens voiced their frustrations with a rash of recent vehicle break-ins that have occurred across the City of Sedalia near the end of a City Council meeting held Monday night.

Randy Kirby

Andrew Dawson, a resident of W. 7th Street, was the first speak. He noted that he has experienced three break-ins in the past month. Others spoke about their ongoing problems with thefts from vehicles in their own neighborhoods.

Sedalia Police Chief John DeGonia also attended Monday night's meeting and addresssed their concerns.

“I realize your concerns and frustrations, I really do,” he said. “There is something being done.”

Chief DeGonia added that “we have a bunch of resources allocated to this.” He noted that one weapon has been recovered, and one arrest in the case has been made since last week and more are pending. “Hopefully, we can put an end to it.”

DeGonia offered a few tips for citizens following the meeting.

“First thing, I think the best bet is to lock your car, because with the majority (of cases), they go down the street and pull door handles. Secondly, if you have a porch light, leave it on. Thirdly, if you see something (suspicious) call the police right away,” DeGonia suggested, adding that a few details of the suspect and the direction they went would be very helpful if reported to the police in a timely fashion.

“Give us a description, we have extra patrol, we have overtime, and chances are, we'll be close to that location,” DeGononia said. “If you don't see us, it doesn't mean we're not there.”

The comments from citizens took place during the final, or "good and welfare" portion of the meeting.

Mayor Stephen J. Galliher noted that he has authorized overtime for the Sedalia Police Department, and urged citizens to call police if they see anything out of the ordinary. He added that there are lot more citizens than police and their first-hand observations are extremely helpful when try to thwart crime in the Sedalia area.