By Michael Bushnell and Paul Thompson
Police are hoping Historic Northeast residents can rest easier after the arrest of a serial burglar last weekend.
KCPD scored a victory for Northeast neighborhoods with the arrest of 26-year-old Deandre Buchanan near the intersection of Independence Blvd. and Park Ave. at roughly 1:30 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, May 12. At this point, Buchanan has been charged with one count of residential burglary, and is being held on $40,000 bond in the Jackson County jail. East Patrol’s Major Jim Thomas, however, indicated that more charges may be forthcoming.
The arrest marked the conclusion of a wild four-day stretch that began with a string of burglaries recorded in the early morning hours between May 8 and May 9. Sensing a connection to a previous rash of burglaries that occurred earlier this spring, KCPD spent the next several days working to identify a suspect. The efforts proved fruitful by May 12, when a combination of investigative work and neighborhood involvement helped connect Buchanan to at least one new burglary in the Northeast.
Reached for comment on May 14, Thomas was unequivocal that the work from area neighborhood associations – specifically Scarritt Renaissance – contributed directly to Buchanan’s arrest.
“With the four burglaries, we knew we had another problem series going on,” Thomas said. “On Wednesday is when we started getting the videos from residents in Scarritt Renaissance.”
The photos and videos from the neighborhood, combined with information derived by detectives through lab results and a canvass of social services provider locations, led KCPD to Buchanan. One photograph in particular, featuring a high-resolution image of a shirtless Buchanan wielding a croquet mallet, proved crucial in identifying the suspect.
“We could not have done this without Scarritt’s help. That photo was the key; it was that photo that was used to get him positively identified,” Thomas said. “This a true testament to how that police/community relationship works. We would not have obtained these results without the work of one another.”
According to police sources, Buchanan remains a suspect in a string of burglaries in the Pendleton Heights and Scarritt Renaissance neighborhoods that have kept the communities on edge for the past few weeks. Between March 26 and April 20 alone, KCPD recorded 18 forced-entry burglaries in the neighborhood. Items taken included a vast range of electronics, guns, clothing, tools, jewelry and cash.
While not all of the burglaries in the area can be traced to Buchanan, Thomas indicated that the apprehended burglar had a specific modus operandi: forced entry through broken windows. Of the 18 burglaries recorded between March 26 and April 20, six included entry through broken windows. Buchanan remains a suspect in those burglaries, in addition to the four burglaries reported on May 9.
Investigators have also been able to determine that Buchanan committed last week’s burglaries while on pre-trial release related to a separate arrest: he was already facing charges of Trafficking in Stolen Identities, 2nd Degree Burglary, and 3rd Degree Assault. A warrant was issued in that case on March 30; Buchanan was served with the warrant on April 28 and was released on his own recognizance on April 30, when he was placed on pre-trial supervision. A preliminary hearing for that case has been scheduled for May 24.
Now Buchanan is back in custody, facing another burglary charge, and being actively investigated regarding a string of similar burglaries in the Historic Northeast.
“This is a big win for the community and KCPD,” said East Patrol Cpt. Ryan Mills. “Multiple houses have been burglarized in the area; I hope with this arrest members of the community can rest easier and feel more secure.”
Scarritt Renaissance President Leslie Caplan thanked the police department for working swiftly to apprehend Buchanan in the wake of this most recent rash of break-ins.
“Great job by the police and by all residents who were able and willing to identify the person in the surveillance photos circulated by our Block Watch volunteers,” Caplan said.
Investigative work on this case remains ongoing, and Major Thomas indicated that more charges may be filed. Any additional charges are pending further lab results.