Report suspicious activity in your neighborhood

It is not exactly a new problem in Minot but is worthy of our attention this time of year. Homeless people and sometimes people with more checkered pasts are known to make themselves at home in property that is not their own.

Just this week two people were arrested and charged with trespassing for taking up residence in a northwest Minot apartment. Squatters, as they are called, are not necessarily hardened criminals but they do present a risk in that they are bold enough to take over a dwelling illegally.

So what can be done about the problem?

Number one is you can alert authorities should you see suspicious activity in your neighborhood. We don’t always know our neighbors, so we might hesitate in calling police but we should not. Be as bold as the squatters and let police or perhaps a management company know when things “don’t look right.”

Squatters, though, are not the only lawbreakers we should be on the lookout for. Home burglaries can be averted if we “see something, say something.”

The city proper is not the only location in need of helpful eyes. Farmers and others who live in the country should also be mindful of strangers in their midst. Vacant buildings on remote farms have, in the past, been targeted by drug dealers and squatters. We don’t know how much of that activity goes on in rural Ward County these days but one never knows when or where the next criminal will move into the neighborhood – or just how dangerous they are.