In late May and early June, caught two organized crews of residential burglars, a four-person daytime team linked to more than 50 burglaries across the Twin Cities and a two-person nighttime team that preyed primarily on the Mendota Heights area and West St. Paul.
Since the arrests, Mendota Heights homes have become far more secure from break-ins, Mendota Heights Police Investigator Tanner Spicer said.
“The arrests decreased our burglary call load dramatically,” Spicer said.
The daytime crew targeted unoccupied homes.
“Doors were being kicked in and jewelry and electronics stolen,” Spicer said.
In late May a lucky break led to the arrest of the four members of the daytime crew near Wentworth Avenue.
“The daytime group was caught when a neighbor happened to see a house being burglarized, Spicer said. “He called police and followed the suspect vehicle until the police caught up to them.”
Three of the burglars arrested in May have been given sentences of more than five years, Spicer said.
A few weeks later, two nighttime burglars were caught near the Mendota Heights police station.
“The nighttime group was caught because there was an attempted burglary, and the homeowners woke up to hear somebody trying to get in the house, and officers stopped the car not very far away with items from the house that was burglarized,” Spicer said.
Spicer said the two nighttime burglars lived near the border of Mendota Heights and, in their extralegal excursions, didn’t “stray too far from home.”
Despite the success in the apprehension of the two burglary crews, Spicer said the police department still responds to burglary calls Mendota Heights residents should remain cautious.
“By no means this indicates that all burglars have left the area,” he said. “There’s always more to take their place.”