By Marilyn Anderson
ZUMBROTA – In recent months, there have been reports of three burglaries near the Highway 58/Main Street exit off Highway 52 on the south side of Zumbrota. In addition, there has been damage to locked doors at other businesses in the same area. The Zumbrota Police Department has provided a review of the crimes and offers tips for individuals and businesses to protect themselves and their property.
The most recent forced entry was reported during the early morning hours of Sunday, August 25 at Subway Restaurant on East 18th Street. Money was stolen from a locked safe. No damage was done to the safe. The case was still an open investigation when Zumbrota Officer Gene Leifeld was contacted about the case.
A motor vehicle theft occurred on July 23 from Route 58 Motor Company. The vehicle information was entered into the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) as being stolen. It is also an open case per Zumbrota Police Chief Gary Selness.
Another burglary occurred earlier this year when Shock City Cellular (Verizon Wireless) on South Main Street had a number of items stolen April 18. According to Police Chief Selness, a person was arrested for the local robbery and for other phone store thefts. Information on the five phones stolen in Zumbrota were entered into NCIC. The Zumbrota case is being handled by the county attorney for prosecution.
Other businesses in the area that received damage included Zumbrota Ford, reporting damage to a door on June 14 and also damage earlier in the year on January 7. Damage to a back door of the former Garden Paradise building was reported on May 9 and Prigge’s Floor Center also reported damage to a back door on January 30.
Chief Selness said, “It appears criminals are working in dark back door areas, where they know there is no alarm or surveillance cameras.” Officer Leifeld, in his role as crime prevention officer, has compiled the following list of tips to assist the public (individuals and businesses) in protecting themselves, possessions, and businesses against crime.
Commercial business security
• Install deadbolt locks.
• Make sure padlocks are solidly mounted and never left open
• Check door and window frames for looseness or rotting. Repair them.
• Practice good key security. Sign out all keys and collect them when employees leave your company. Be safe. Change locks and combinations.
• Never label keys. Use a code if necessary.
• Light up entrances and alleys.
• Leave some lights on in full view of the street.
• Ensure that lighting is sufficient.
• Before and after hour building access must be adhered to and enforced.
• Near business open/close be observant of people entering and existing premises.
• When leaving for the day, leave in pairs or groups.
• Keep cash to a minimum.
• Leave empty cash drawers open after hours.
• Keep an accurate inventory of valuables.
Preventing vehicle theft
• Lock your vehicle. Put valuables out of sight.
• Thieves will break in if they think there is something of value.
• Property most often stolen from vehicles include stereos, cameras, tool boxes, purses/wallets, CDs, checkbooks, change, car batteries, sunglasses, auto parts, and power tools
• Deadbolt locks have a bolt that must be activated by a key or a thumb turn.
• They offer good security and are not spring activated.
• A single cylinder deadbolt is activated with a key on the exterior side of the door and a thumb-turn piece on the interior side.
• A double-cylinder deadbolt is key activated on both sides of the door. It should be installed where there is glass within 40 inches of the lock.
• Double-cylinder deadbolt locks are only permitted in existing single-family homes, town homes and first floor duplexes.
Additional security measures
• Lighting left on from dusk to dawn helps deter crime such as thefts, vandalism, and burglary.
• You can increase chances of recovering property that is stolen by recording information.
• Serial numbers marking items with identification numbers are available at no charge from the police department.
• Call 9-1-1 if you see something suspicious.