Keep yourself - and your belongings - safe

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

Television news and daily papers have been talking about a series of car break-ins and burglaries that have been occurring late at night in communities around the Twin Cities. One report says that it appears to be an organized burglary ring, with as many as a dozen communities around the Twin Cities seeing a rise in such thefts.

While there have been no reports of such activities in New Prague, there have been reports in communities as close as Prior Lake and Savage, showing that our “small town” isn’t immune to such thefts. It’s important that people take precautions to protect themselves and their property.

According to news reports, a car will find a quiet place to park in a neighborhood and four or five people will fan out throughout a neighborhood. They look for open cars, taking whatever they can, including garage door openers. They use those openers to gain access to houses and make quick work, taking whatever they can grab quickly from the cars, the garages or the houses.

There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself.

• Lock the doors to your homes at night. Some of these “break-ins” were possible because the home was left unlocked at night, allowing thieves to enter even while the homeowners were asleep inside. This includes the door from your garage into the home. Many people think because the garage door is shut, no one can get in. That is not always the case.

• Lock your car doors at night, and even then, don’t leave valuables inside the cars. Some people have reported that small electronics and cash left in the cars have been stolen. Don’t make it easy for the thieves.

• If you see suspicious activity, report it immediately. These thieves work quickly and could be gone in a matter of minutes.

• Leave an outdoor light on, or have some sort of motion sensor lighting on your home, and if you have a surveillance camera, make sure it is working.

New Prague is generally considered a safe community, and taking these measures will help keep it that way.

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