June 13, 2019 06:22 PM
Authorities say thieves continue lurking around quiet metro neighborhoods, breaking into cars and homes with families sleeping inside.
Overnight, residents in Victoria say at least 14 more homes were hit. That's in addition to many more burglaries that have occurred recently in at least nine other metro cities.
There was a flurry of activity Thursday morning in Victoria as homeowners awoke to find many had been burglarized.
"I read about it, heard about it and made changes because of it," one resident who wished to be identified only as Brad said. "Yep, we started to make sure vehicles were locked if in the driveway."
But thieves found one unlocked door to his car and took off with a wallet. His credit cards were later used in Brooklyn Park.
"I feel a little violated," he said. "Not a lot of things happen here. So we were shocked that would happen out here."
Meanwhile, Big Lake has had four incidents, and the police chief there said he has growing concerns about safety.
"It's got all the foundation for a deadly ending," Chief Joel Scharf said.
"What's going to happen when there is a confrontation in someones house? Because they will probably go into the home of a gun owner, and you're going to have a deadly-force situation that will occur. And quite honestly, I'm amazed that hasn't happened yet."
Despite the recent rash of crimes, there are actually fewer juveniles being arrested for burglary than a decade ago, according to the BCA.
YouTube video from a homeowner in Otsego shows how quickly these crimes have been committed.
Thieves check the car in the driveway, find a garage door opener, get into the garage, and if they can, the house.
Scharf has been told these burglaries are the work of a street gang in the metro, using juveniles to go into homes because the punishement for a juvenile, unless its a violent felony, is less severe.
"I am hearing anywhere from 30 to 80 and that's a huge operation," Scharf said.
Big Lake has identified two individuals believed to have taken part in the burglaries in their city, and charges are likely.
Updated: June 13, 2019 06:22 PM
Created: June 13, 2019 04:40 PM
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