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Maple Grove Voice

MGPD Hosts Community Meeting About Residential Burglaries

Sep 18, 2016 07:33PM ● By Wendy Erlien

Maple Grove Chief of Police Eric Werner talks about the area of residential burglaries at the community meeting Sept. 15, 2016. (photo by Wendy Erlien)

A series of residential burglaries in July and August in Maple Grove prompted the Maple Grove Police Department to host a community meeting Sept. 15 at Maple Grove Senior High.

“We are still a very safe city. With your help, we can prevent and catch the people that are doing this,” Maple Grove Chief of Police Eric Werner said.

The community meeting, led by a panel of several Maple Grove Police Department staff members, provided about 100 community members in attendance with the details of 13 residential burglaries in the north/northeast side of Maple Grove (primarily the County Road 30 between I-94 and the Brooklyn Park border area) and what is being done.

According to officials, the burglaries were similar in nature. The first one occurring July 13 and the last one reported Aug. 25. Twelve of the 13 crimes occurred in cases where entry into the home was made through either an open garage door or unlocked vehicle in the driveway containing a garage door opener.

The burglaries, officials said, have been crimes of opportunity.

“There have been no broken doors, no broken windows,” Maple Grove Detective Angela Tschida said of the incidents. The suspect(s) “were in and out, doing it quickly.”

According to Maple Grove Police Department officials, the burglaries happened between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday-Saturday and items stolen included cash, electronics, and credit cards from the single-family, detached homes. No property has been recovered. In all of the cases, residents were home during the incidents.

 “At the surface, 13 burglaries might not sound like a big deal. What’s really scary about this is the burglar or burglars are coming in the middle of the night, opening garage doors and taking things,” Maple Grove Police Captain Dan Wills said.  “We’re afraid this may lead to confrontation or someone getting hurt.”

Wills talked to residents about internal and external resources by law enforcement being dedicated to the issue, such as patrols, external support from other agencies, and more to help solve the cases.

“One of our biggest tools we use is the Minnesota Crime Alert Network and that is how we’ve identified a couple of our suspects right now,” Detective Tschida said. She talked about two men currently in custody, one in Coon Rapids and one in Crystal, that haven’t yet been eliminated as suspects in the Maple Grove incidents. “We don’t have any solid answers on DNA yet. We’re not drawing any conclusions.”

“We are deploying a lot of resources,” Wills said to community members. “But, the most important resource we have, internal or external, is you.”

Residents are encouraged to call 911 if they see any suspicious behavior. “If you see something, say something,” officials said.  

“Ultimately, you are the eyes and ears of your neighborhoods. We want to get your calls,” Maple Grove Crime Prevention Officer Todd Strege said.

Community members were also encouraged to keep their homes and vehicles locked, garage doors closed as well as bringing their garage door openers inside from their vehicles.

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