5th Precinct sees spike in thefts

Thefts from vehicles have nearly doubled year-to-date from 2016 to 2017 in Southwest Minneapolis’ 5th Precinct.

As of July 3, police documented 554 incidents year-to-date, and documented 279 at this time in 2016. Burglary reports are up more than 40 percent, and larceny is up 50 percent.

Police said they see an increase in property crimes every summer, and many are crimes of opportunity. Burglars typically gain entry to garages through unlocked or open doors, police said, and the most commonly stolen items are bicycles. Suspects also use garage door openers taken from cars parked outside, police said.

A recent police advisory included the following tips:

— Don’t leave valuables in the car, including gym bags, loose change, personal information or after-market stereos.

— Don’t leave a garage door opener in a car parked outside.

— Lock car doors and close windows.

— Lock valuables in a trunk before arrival.

— Park in a garage or well-lit area.

— Lock house doors, even while at home, and lock windows when not in use.

— Create a home inventory with serial numbers as well as the make and model of items.