Week of May 31, 2020

Sometime in the middle of the night last Friday morning someone broke into my garage and stole my car.  It was a rather brazen act and by someone who clearly is skilled at such behavior.  The garage door was decoupled from the electric opener.  I have since been told that crooks use slim jim type tools to release the guide from the track.
 
It is also possible that the burglar was able to use the proper frequency to trigger the opener.  The door opener is older with much less security than current models.  The garage service door was locked (although not deadbolted).  With full candor, the key was in the car console.  Nothing was heard, and the dog did not bark (he is generally very alert to any noise).  The car may have been pushed out of the garage before starting it.
 
My car has Onstar and the police were able to recover it the next morning at the Emerald Inn in Maplewood.  They are not sure if the perps will be on the surveillance cameras there.  They stole the license plate off in case I had immediately reported the vehicle stolen.  But the perpetrator was also a bit careless.  He (I assume it was a he as my car stunk) left his rubber coated gloves inside my car.
That should be a treasure trove for a DNA sample.  A crook like this no doubt has a history and is on file at the BCA so a match would seem likely.
 
I am bummed as I had just come home from a day-long bike outing in Alexandria and left my beloved bike in the car as it was late and I was tired.  Its a small car and there is no room for anyone but the driver with the bike inside, so I suspect the bike was jettisoned.
(It's a forest green Gary Fisher, straight handle bars and bar ends, and rack in case anyone sees it lying in a ditch or something).  The car may have been used to go to the riots--it was driven 75 miles and probably fast as my MPG went down by 40%.
 
Virtually everything in the car was taken including my wallet (with fresh stimulus check), bike gear, gym stuff with my swimsuit and pickleball stuff.  But they left the seven library books waiting to be returned.  Got to love that.  I have been inventorying everything.  It adds up fast.  Fortunately, my insurance will cover the losses after a $1500 deductible.
 
You should be aware that there have been a series of break-ins in the area.  One unoccupied house on Old Wildwood Road nearby has been broken into a number of times.  That crook is known to the cops, but he remains out of custody to this day.  His MO is to do "soft hits" (taking small bits of stuff and coming back later) with stealth and cleverness.  He is known to be about 5 feet seven, beard, late 30s, has a black satchel or backpack, wears a ball cap,  hoodie, and uses rubber coated gloves.  (He probably stinks as well).  He can sometimes be seen hanging out at the Freedom station on Highway 120 in the early morning.  He knows the back woods well so there are plenty of escape routes for him around here.  A person matching that description was seen walking on Birchwood Road at midnight Friday night.  Police were called at the time.  I suspect he was not caught.
 
FYI, breaking into an occupied residence is a quick ticket to prison--it is a level 8 criminal offense (on a scale of 1-11, 11 being reserved for murder) with a mandatory minimum of 4 years in prison or more depending on the prior record. I trust the Washington County Sheriff will investigate the case quickly so that we all can breathe easier in our own homes and neighborhoods.
 
I live at the end of a dead end street.  There is no quick escape point so we thought our neighborhood was safe...until now.  Neighbors and I have motion/security lights and I am now upgrading to security cameras in and around the house.  I also lock my house around the clock.  It doesn't help that the road construction on Birchwood Road in Mahtomedi has created more random traffic from outside the community.
 
It is a sad state of affairs with our country and the world these days.  It looks like things may be hitting way too close to home as well.  Keep alert and make sure your neighbors know to keep an eye out.  We are really all in this together more than we ever thought.
Stay safe.
 
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