Spike in Theft in Twin Ports Areas

By KBJR News 1

August 8, 2013 Updated Aug 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Police say thefts are on the rise across the Twin Ports and surrounding towns.

Incidents include home break ins to vehicle prowls. The causes are speculative but theft across the Northland has undoubtedly gone up.

"Comparable to last summer we're three times as many residential burglaries in the city for June and July and about twice as many vehicle prowls" says Deputy Chief Shawn Padden of the Hermantown Police Dept.

Vehicle prowls in particular have been a significant problem in Duluth. Between July 25th and August 5th, there have been 84 reported vehicle break–ins.

"Traditionally this time of year we get more car prowls. And we're up a little bit over years past," says Chief Gordon Ramsay of the Duluth Police Dept.

So how can people protect themselves from being victims?

Padden says the solutions are simple and easy to implement.

"Do not leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicles. Lock them in your trunk if you have to bring them with you at all... "On a rainy Saturday night walk through your house and take pictures of your valuables. Note the serial numbers."

Law enforcement officers also say beware of the way you use social media. You could be making yourself an easy target.

"Don't put on there, we're going on vacation for a week. Make sure you are cognizant of what your kids are putting on there as far photos in your home and valuables in it," advises Padden.

"I've seen laptops left in cars, gps's, purses, wallets in this rash. That just encourages more. If you don't have laptops in your car they wont be a target," Ramsay adds.

Police say drug usage throughout the area may be to blame for the increase.

"I do believe a lot of this is because by an uptick in synthetic drug crisis we have in the crisis right now the increased use of heroin in the Duluth area," says Padden.

Other hypothesized causes include, theft by unsupervised kids home on summer break.

If a valued item in your home does not have a serial number, law enforcement officers suggest inscribing on the item in an obscure place.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware