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Crime alert issued for Mounds View
Many northern cities report a decrease in crime during the winter months. January’s bitterly cold temperatures have not deterred criminals from breaking into homes in Mounds View, however, which has experienced an unusual uptick in burglaries since the holidays.
Mounds View Police Chief Tom Kinney said that more than a dozen burglaries have been reported in the city between the last week of December and Jan. 27.
Kinney said that the recent spike in home burglaries is out of the ordinary for Mounds View, which in recent years has averaged closer to five reported incidents per month.
Investigators are trying to determine if the crimes are related, but so far have not come up with any conclusions.
“We’ve recovered some DNA evidence from homes and are awaiting lab results,” the police chief said. “Whether or not these crimes are connected isn’t clear yet, but they do share a lot of similarities.”
All of the recent burglaries have taken place while homeowners were gone — some for a few hours and some for days — and in all cases the intruders got inside the homes through forced entry.
The burglaries have occurred at all times of day and night and have been reported in the following areas: 2600 block of Lake Court Circle, 5100 block of Eastwood Road, 7700 block of Knollwood Drive, 7700 block of Groveland Road, 5300 block of Clifton Drive and the 7700 block of Bona Road.
Kinney said the items that have been reported stolen are mostly jewelry and TV’s and other electronic items that can be pawned easily for quick cash. He said the police department tries to monitor sales of the stolen belongings at pawn shops, but said sales often go undetected, especially jewelry. Electronic items like TV’s have serial numbers that they can sometimes track.
The recent spree of home invasions, at least right now, appears to be isolated to the four square miles or so that encompasses Mounds View. There has not been an increase in residential burglaries reported in neighboring communities.
Randy Gustafson, the public information officer for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, said that the seven cities their department serves – Arden Hills, Gem Lake , Little Canada, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Township have seen normal numbers for theft and burglaries.
Cold temperatures are often a police department’s ally in winter — curbing crimes that require people to head out and brave the cold.
Gustafson said that typically the number of reported break-ins that his department responds to in winter are about half of what they are in warmer months. During the same time period that Mounds View — a city of just over 12,300 people — has had over one dozen reported home burglaries, his department has only reported eight for the entire seven-city area that the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department is contracted to serve.
“Burglars don’t respect city boundaries, but so far the criminal activity that’s been seen in Mounds View hasn’t spread into our neighborhoods,” Gustafson said.
Kinney said that his department is working hard to identify the person or persons responsible for the rash of home invasions in his community and are sharing and comparing notes with law enforcement in neighboring communities as well.
The police chief encourages people to contact his department with any information related to these crimes or any suspicious activity people notice at any time. He said some things to look for are: people lingering outside on the street who look out of place, or individuals sitting in a parked car for extended periods in front of homes.
The Mounds View Police Department recommends taking the following common sense precautions for your own home security: keep doors and windows locked at all times (sliding doors and windows should have a bar or other device to prevent it from opening), keep curtains or blinds closed at night time or when away from home, and do not leave valuables such as wallets, checkbooks and phones in view to the outside.
The Mounds View Police Department is actively investigating these cases and encourages anyone with any information on these incidents to call the police department at 763-717-4070.
Joshua Nielsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-7824.