Safety tips to head off burglars

Kim Fundingsland/MDN A home burglary, like this one, can leave a homeowner feeling violated. But there are ways to fight back.

Home burglaries leave property owners feeling invaded and unsettled in their own homes, but there are things they can do to protect themselves.

Lt. Jason Kraft of the Ward County Sheriff’s Office and Minot Police Department Capt. John Klug both advise securing valuables within the home, installing lighting at entrances, investing in a security system and having friends and neighbors check the house every day if the homeowner is going to be gone for an extended period of time.

“I wish there was a way to predict exactly where (in town) they will hit,” said Klug.

Both law enforcement officers said that many of the burglaries and thefts in town are drug-related.

It appears that most of them are looking for items that are easy to sell, hard to trace, small electronic items that most people wouldn’t write down the serial number of or use daily, said Klug.

Guns are also frequently stolen; law enforcement recommend that homeowners secure their guns in gun safes or by some other means to make it more difficult for a burglar to steal.

The total number of burglaries in the city of Minot were down from 2016 to 2017, said Klug, though there was an uptick in November. “In 2016 we took 411 complaints for burglary,” said Klug. “For 2017 we had 354 total burglaries reported for the year.”

Klug said there were 79 burglaries reported in November 2017; in the other 11 months of 2017 the number of reported burglaries ranged from 19 to 35.

Kraft said there have not been an unusual number of burglaries reported in the county in the last six months, but there were more theft reports in December.

“In December we had nine theft cases … we had someone going around stealing in northeast Minot,” he said. There were seven burglaries reported in December to the Ward County Sheriff’s Department, compared with six in November, five in October and five in September. So far this month there have been three reported burglaries.

People who have information about a theft or burglary or other crime can contact the Minot Police Department or the Ward County Sheriff’s Office.