One of the more common theft reports that our officers take on an ongoing basis are thefts of property from parked vehicles. Sometimes the vehicles are locked and a side window is broken or a lock compromised to gain entry, but more often than not, the parked vehicles are not locked and no forced entry is required by the thief to commit the theft.
We always encourage car owners to lock their vehicles every time they park them, even if they are parked on their own driveway. What often happens with these types of thefts is the suspects will walk through an area at night prowling parked vehicles and steal items out of the unlocked cars. We also recommend that people not leave any valuable items such as purses, checkbooks, laptops, iPods, iPads, and GPS units in plain sight in their vehicles. The loss from the theft of these items can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Our experience has shown that if there are not valuables visible, the car prowlers will often move on to the next vehicle.
Many times there are no known suspects and the exact time of the thefts is not known, which makes solving these cases very difficult.
This past week, Detective Kelli Coughlin and Detective Michelle Roberts were able to solve 17 of these thefts from vehicle cases as the result of an investigation that started one day last week when Officer Troy Hokanson took a single theft from vehicle report.
Unlike most theft from vehicle cases, in this instance there was a witness who could provide a good description of the suspect vehicle. Officer Hokanson put the information out to surrounding law enforcement agencies and about an hour later he was contacted by a Scott County deputy, who had a report of a similar suspect vehicle involved in a theft from vehicle just outside of Lakeville. The witness in the Scott County case obtained a license plate number and the deputies were able to locate the vehicle and arrest the driver.
The detectives subsequently located numerous items in the suspect vehicle that appeared stolen, including many mobile GPS devices. In checking with the owners of the property, they determined that 17 of the items had been stolen from vehicles in Lakeville. The detectives contacted the owners of the property and found that several of the victims were unaware that their property had even been stolen. The suspect is facing multiple felony charges of theft and possession of stolen property.
WEEKLY LPD SNAPSHOT
Sampling of LPD activity for the week of Oct. 11 to Oct. 18, 2012
Traffic crashes: 11 Alarms: 15 Animal Calls: 43 Medical Emergency Calls: 29 Thefts: 27 Traffic Stops: 241
LAKEVILLE “HEART RESTART” RECEIVES LARGE DONATION
The Lakeville “Heart Restart” program was established to train citizens and residents in basic CPR skills and AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) use to increase the survival rate of victims of sudden cardiac arrest in our community.
It is estimated that 300,000 people a year are victims of sudden cardiac arrest in the United States. Only about seven percent survive and recover from a sudden cardiac arrest. This initiative was started when Lakeville resident Kathy Lewis contacted me a few years ago and asked if we could do something to educate our citizens in the life-saving CPR / AED techniques.
As a result, the Lakeville “Heart Restart” program was established with the goal of training one quarter (approximately 15,000 people) of the population in Lakeville in these life-saving skills. To date, over 5,000 people have received bystander CPR training and training in the use of the AED units in our community. All of the funding for the Lakeville “Heart Restart” program to purchase training equipment and supplies, has come through private donations. The CPR trainers have donated their time and talents to the program as well.
This past Monday night, the Lakeville “Heart Restart” program received a generous $4,000 donation from the Walmart foundation at the new Lakeville Walmart store.