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Police investigate a series of burglaries

Farmington police are investigating a series of burglaries that have resulted in thousands of dollars being stolen from homes in the downtown residential area of the community.

Police have connected at least four burglaries to the same set of suspects, Farmington police sergeant Lee Hollatz said. The burglaries have all happened in neighborhoods south of Elm Street, and the suspects have used the same method each time.

The first burglary was reported Aug. 23, Hollatz said. In that incident, a rear entry door was smashed in. The home was unoccupied. Burglars also gained entrance into the garage. They stole a television, camera, two compound bows, a guitar, a generator and a chainsaw, Hollatz said.

“Our crime scene unit responded and processed that scene,” Hollatz said. “They were able to collect some good evidence there.”

Another burglary was reported Sept. 27. The victim told police they believed the burglary took place earlier in the month. The victim also reported that someone had been inside the home and had stolen several pieces of jewelry.

There were two burglaries last week, as well, Hollatz said.

The first was reported Oct. 8. The burglars stole a safe containing money and miscellaneous items, as well as the homeowner’s vehicle.

That same vehicle was later involved in a shoplifting and suspicious behavior incident in Roseville, Hollatz said. Five individuals were arrested in that incident, but none of them has been charged in connection to the local burglaries.

The most recent break-in was reported Oct. 12. Police believe the same individuals entered an unlocked, detached garage. Once inside, they broke into a gun safe and took two shotguns.

“We have good information that these are linked,” Hollatz said. “We also have collected good evidence on the Oct. 8 incident and this most recent one. We are in the process of looking at the evidence on the past weekend.

“We think it’s the same individuals doing these, and we take this very seriously,” he said.

There have been other burglaries in the community since Aug. 23. Three suspects were taken into custody in connection with two home invasions and burglaries just two weeks ago, but those are not connected to this particular string now under investigation.

Hollatz encourages all residents of the downtown area to be especially watchful of their neighborhoods and to make sure to lock all doors, be it to a house, a garage or a vehicle. If residents see anything or anyone suspicious, they are asked to contact police as soon as possible.

“We can’t strongly encourage that enough, that our citizens are locking all of their doors and their cars, and putting away and locking up their valuables,” he said, “and if they do see suspicious behaviors or cars to call us immediately.”

Police have increased patrols in the neighborhoods in question.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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