Last week, Chanhassen residents received a message from Mayor Elise Ryan advising the community to take safety precautions to prevent theft.
The message was sent following an uptick in “crimes of opportunity.” The Carver County Sheriff’s Office has focused patrol in neighborhoods during overnight hours, the letter stated.
From Friday, July 9 to Sunday, July 11, Chanhassen had an increase in crimes of opportunity, including theft from motor vehicles and motor vehicle theft, according to Carver County Sheriff’s Office Cmdr. Mike Wollin.
The crimes generally occurred overnight, Wollin said. Some reports were delayed to Tuesday, July 13, because residents didn’t immediately realize items were stolen, he said.
The crimes primarily occurred in the neighborhood on the south side of Highway 5, between Audubon Road and Powers Boulevard. Between July 9 and 13, there were seven reports of theft from vehicles and four reports of vehicle theft. In most of the incidents, the vehicle was recovered, Wollin said.
According to Wollin, there was an increase of reports over the weekend, but Chanhassen isn’t experiencing a consistent trend. From May 1 to July 14, there were five reports of vehicle theft, four of which occurred during the weekend of July 9-11.
With these vehicle tamperings, someone enters an unlocked vehicle and goes through it for something of value, if they don’t find anything, they move on, Wollin said.
In some instances, there is a garage door opener or an unsecured door into the garage where the person can continue to look for valuables. In one instance, the keys to the vehicle were in the garage and the vehicle was stolen, he said.
While Chanhassen is a safe community, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for someone to get into an unsecured vehicle, Wollin said.
There are a few ways that residents can prevent theft. Residents should remove valuables from their car or keep them out of view, lock their vehicles, garages and homes and report suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office. If it is an emergency, call 911, for non-emergencies, call 952-361-1231.
According to Wollin, the Sheriff’s Office thinks there were similar incidents in Chaska and the general area. The incidents are active investigations, he said.