Orono police continue to warn of growing crime wave in west metro

This week, the Orono Police Department continued to sound the alarm for residents to take precautions against a growing wave of burglaries and thefts. In a Twitter posting, the department warned that

[l]ast night we had a significant amount of property crime in our area as well as Minnetrista. We are still working on numbers, but so far we believe to have had six occupied residential burglaries and a handful of theft from auto reports. This means while you were sleeping people were creeping through six homes. We don’t want that, but we need your help to make that more difficult.

The police explained the purpose of the warning was to encourage residents to secure their unlocked homes, personal belongings, and vehicles to avoid becoming victims of crime. This warning comes on the heels of a growing crime trend currently observed throughout the metro, and repeats an earlier crime warning from late last summer.

In an August posting, Orono police warned of criminals stealing vehicles, burglarizing occupied homes, and stealing from parked cars. Chief Correy Farniok said in a press release,

These thefts and burglaries have been occurring in our police jurisdiction as well as neighboring cities and we want to advise our community to be aware and watchful. We recommend that you continue to lock the doors of your vehicles and homes, leave outside lights on at night and activate alarm systems and security cameras. Do not leave anything of value inside your vehicles.

Generational high crime rates reported last year in the Twin Cities and continual lawlessness serve as stark reminders that criminals are emboldened to take even more risks by expanding into areas with traditionally low crime rates. Crime data continues to corroborate that a few career criminals are responsible for the overwhelming number of crimes.

Concerned citizens, political leaders, and communities should collectively support law enforcement leaders’ efforts to stem this crime wave and demand elected prosecutors seek appropriate sentences to hold career criminals accountable.