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Holidays bring burglaries, upsetting any good cheer

With Christmas looming on the calendar, residents discovered thieves had invaded their properties and made off with valuable items - from County Highway 30 by Crosby, to Spencer Road outside of Brainerd, to Marsh Point near Aitkin. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

The Brainerd lakes area saw a jump in burglaries over the holiday weekend, with Crow Wing County Sheriff's deputies responding to four reports of break-ins, as well as assisting in two additional incidences in Aitkin and Cass counties.

With Christmas looming on the calendar, residents discovered thieves had invaded their properties and made off with valuable items—from County Highway 30 by Crosby, to Spencer Road outside of Brainerd, to Marsh Point near Aitkin.

Crow Wing County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Meyer said the holiday weekend saw more burglaries than usual, although this spike represents a surge in crime reports versus actual crime itself. Most of the properties victimized between Dec. 22-25 were not residential homes, but cabins. This means the owners may have been gone for most of the year and only now have returned to visit, just to find their properties broken into while they were away.

"A lot of these things didn't happen over the weekend. People are just coming up to the cabins and find them broken into," Meyer said during a phone interview. "They're being discovered. They haven't been to the cabin for several weeks or a couple months and now it's broken into."

As such, this spike in burglaries points instead to an accumulation of crimes throughout the year rather than, for example, perpetrators taking advantage of the holiday shopping spree. Meyer said most of the pilfered items are movable property—electronics like small TVs, laptops, tablets, or firearms and sporting goods—that the thieves can carry off the property with relative ease.

While these thefts leave evidence, the amount of time between the actual break-ins and when owners report them means its an uphill battle for law enforcement agencies.

"A lot of times if it's a delayed response or delayed reporting like that, unfortunately a lot of physical evidence is destroyed by elements of nature, whether its footprints in the dirt or mud, or in the snow, as was the case," Meyer said. "A lot of these, you could tell there were tire tracks in the driveway or footprints up to the cabin, however they weren't discernable or identifiable."

For future reference, Meyer advises residents to record the serial numbers of any electronics or firearms they have in their possession and to store these numbers in a separate and safe storage place. In the event of a burglary, residents can submit these serial numbers to law enforcement officers, who then can track any sales or confiscations of these items in the future. This provides another avenue for these items to be recovered and perpetrators to be apprehended, even if physical evidence of a break-in are too deteriorated to be identified.

The holiday weekend burglary blotter:

Report at 1:28 p.m., Monday, officers responded to a burglary on the 32000 block of Marsh Point, Aitkin.

Report at 9:57 p.m., Sunday, deputies responded to burglary at a cabin on the 23000 block of County Highway 11, Crosby.

Report at 4:39 p.m., Sunday, deputies responded to a burglary at 8300 block of Big Whitefish Nar, Pine River.

Report at 10:12 a.m., Friday, deputies responded to a burglary at 19000 block of Spencer Road, Brainerd.

Report at 1:56 p.m., Friday, deputies responded to a burglary at 18000 block of County Road 30, Crosby.

Report at 8:36 a.m., Saturday, deputies responded to a burglary at 21000 Fern Lane, Deerwood. An iPad was stolen.

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