Updated: December 02, 2020 06:16 PM
Created: December 02, 2020 05:03 PM
Police are warning Minneapolis residents who walk along Lake Nokomis and Minnehaha Creek to be careful, as they've seen a rash of "smash and grabs," recently.
"I think it's concerning that it's like more 'planned attacks' and waiting and watching to see who goes on walks," said Jessika Kiczula, who walks around Lake Nokomis.
Minneapolis police say thieves may watch someone park their car and go on a walk before they strike.
The number of vehicle break-ins is rising. According to data from Minneapolis Police records, there were over 1,100 vehicle break-ins during the colder October and November months.
"If they see something in there, it takes no time at all to break a window into a car, and it can be done very quietly, and have people gain entry into the car and rummage through it," John Elder, Minneapolis Police spokesperson, said.
Police urged Minnesotans to not be an easy target for break-ins by hiding any valuables.
"Putting it under a seat in the car, putting it under a jacket, you're not fooling anyone. They see something in there, it takes no time at all to break into a window into a car," Elder said.
Packs of thieves and opportunists are responsible for what can be a "sophisticated" game.
"We've been able to make arrests to some of them, and we know they're the same people going over and over [...] They can steal a purse. And then the purse and maybe a checkbook. And with that checkbook, maybe a routing number. And then they can wash checks and duplicate checks all day long," Elder said.
Police urged residents to protect themselves by not giving anyone the opportunity.
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