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PLYMOUTH — A crime spree has hit the west metro, with burglaries being reported in cities from Big Lake to Prior Lake, according to officials.

The spree includes cities in the Lake Minnetonka area. In a June 15 news release, the city of Greenwood said “in the last week” a burglary was reported in Greenwood and another was reported in eastern Shorewood, with the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department believing both crimes are related to “the crew that has been active” in the Twin Cities metro this month.

Incidents in Victoria last week are believed to be connected to the “very sophisticated ring of burglary suspects” that’s hit “a large majority” of the Twin Cities metro recently, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office said in a June 13 news release, adding “several” homes in Victoria were burglarized and two vehicles stolen overnight June 12-13.

The Plymouth Police Department believes at least two incidents in Plymouth are connected to the burglary ring. Deputy Chief Erik Fadden told Lakeshore Weekly News stolen property from Plymouth residences were found in connection to two 18-year-old men who were arrested and charged last week in connection to a burglary in Wright County. They have not yet been charged in Hennepin County. 

Fadden confirmed the city of Plymouth has seen similar burglaries to others reported in the west metro, but would not confirm whether the department has connected any more of the burglaries to the group believed to be targeting the area. He noted this style of burglary is common because it is a crime of convenience.

Law enforcement agencies have described the crimes in similar ways, saying the suspects find unlocked vehicles with garage door openers in them. They steal the garage door opener, then use it to get inside the garage and residence to steal items of value that are usually found right inside the door. The suspects often steal a vehicle or vehicles from the garage to continue their crime spree.

The suspects enter occupied homes very quickly, taking items while residents are generally asleep. This group targets a community, striking many homes undetected, the Carver County Sheriff’s Office said in its news release. Because the suspects commit crimes in vehicles not yet reported stolen, they have been incredibly difficult to catch in the act.

The city of Greenwood noted there have not been any violent confrontations between victims and suspects. Officials have no information that leads them to believe the suspects have violent intentions — they seem to be focused on quickly grabbing things of value, such as electronics and purses. That being said, the city urges residents not to attempt to apprehend the suspects.

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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