Precinct continues to track uptick in thefts, burglaries

Police said six garage burglaries were reported in a 10-day span in the Kingfield neighborhood this month.

Most of the burglaries took place overnight, with use of force to gain entry in half of the incidents.

Burglaries in the 5th Precinct are up 19 percent year-to-date from 2016, totaling 665 incidents as of Oct. 23. Larceny (theft) is up 31 percent year-to-date from 2016 at 2,667 incidents, and thefts from vehicles are up 53 percent at 904 incidents.

“Precinct-wide, we’re really being impacted by thefts,” Insp. Kathy Waite said at a recent Stevens Square Community Organization Safety Committee meeting. “A significant number of them could be prevented by simply locking a door, whether it’s an apartment door, door of a garage, a door on a home, a door on a car. And not leaving things in plain view in vehicles.”

Suspects have stolen guns from some vehicles — a vehicle is never a safe place to store a gun, she said.

Waite also asked neighbors to be watchful. She said residents typically head straight to their destinations in an alley, and meandering through yards qualifies as suspicious behavior.

Waite said auto thefts are up citywide, and she reminded residents not to leave unattended vehicles running.

She said the change in season may impact crime rates.

“In Minnesota we have that benefit, that the cold weather generally brings a bit of a decrease for us in activity,” she said.

Anyone interested in serving as a block leader, which involves email alerts of crimes that occur close to home, can attend a block leader training session Dec. 6 from 12 p.m.-1 p.m. at the 5th Precinct, 3101 Nicollet Ave. S. Attendees can RSVP to Jennifer Waisanen at 673-5407 or [email protected]