Crime alert issued about rash of burglaries in north metro

The alert said the thieves are looking for unlocked vehicles with garage door openers in them.

Anoka County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

North metro communities experienced a rash of burglaries on Monday and the sheriff’s office wants residents to take precautions.

A crime prevention specialist for the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office sent out a crime alert on Tuesday notifying residents that the cities of Andover and Ham Lake had multiple reports of burglaries on Monday, Dec. 7, which authorities think are related.

The alert said the thieves are looking for unlocked vehicles with garage door openers in them. The thieves then use the openers to enter through the garage and into homes where they search for purses, wallets, credit cards and cash.

Some of the credit cards that were taken in the recent burglaries have been used in stores throughout the metro area, the alert said.

The burglaries took place in the overnight hours between roughly 2:30 to 5 a.m. The suspects are “mobile” and are hitting communities right now. Often, they are in and out of the homes in just minutes, the alert said.

The sheriff’s office shared a list of tips to help prevent burglaries:

  • Make sure to lock vehicles
  • Remove garage door openers from vehicles
  • Park inside a garage if possible
  • Keep outside lights on
  • Call 911 immediately if you witness suspicious activity

The sheriff’s office encourages residents to form neighborhood watch groups and communicate regularly with neighbors about suspicious activity. The sheriff’s office offers tips on its website on how to get started with organizing a neighborhood watch group.

Residents can also increase the chances of getting their stolen items back by taking the time to record model numbers and serial numbers of equipment, electronics, bicycles and firearms. Photo documentation of valuables can also be helpful in retrieving stolen items like jewelry. Residents can contact the sheriff’s office through their website to obtain property inventory sheets and “Operation ID” stickers to discourage thefts.

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