Thefts prompt police chief to remind residents to lock car doors

By Derrick Knutson

It’s pretty easy for a thief to steal just about anything from an unlocked vehicle.

On the morning of July 6, someone lifted goods from sixed unlocked vehicles around North Branch. Police Chief Dan Meyer said the thief or thieves made off with items such as cash, checks, garage door openers and cigarettes.

All of the vehicles were parked outside or in open garages.

Following the string of thefts, officers also recovered a stolen vehicle out of White Bear Lake.

Meyer said police believe the incidents could be related.

Although there are no suspects at this time, Meyer noted juveniles often perpetrate crimes of this sort.

He noted one simple preventative measure that is often the best way to avoid theft from vehicles.

“The biggest deterrent is to lock your doors,” he said. “There are so many people who leave their (vehicle) doors unlocked, and that’s how the thieves shop.”

However, he added “smash-and-grab” thefts are common, but removing valuables from a vehicle parked outside overnight or simply moving items to the vehicle’s truck generally makes a car less of a target for thieves.

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