The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 7, 2011

Counties tally rural burglaries

Area law enforcement departments continue to share information in their quest to solve a string of ongoing rural burglaries.

“It’s just frustrating,” Nicollet County Sheriff’s Department investigator Marc Chadderdon said. “We’d like to catch them before they start getting into houses and residential burglaries.”

He said in the most recent meeting involving law enforcement representatives from multiple counties, it was determined that up to 43 burglaries have taken place in the past few months in Brown, Blue Earth, Sibley, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Waseca and Steele counties.

Typically struck are country churches and rural businesses.

“These people are pretty much looking for cash,” Chadderdon said. “There were several break-ins where nothing was taken at all.”

He said in many instances the dollar damage done to locked doors and windows has been greater than the thieves’ haul, which has also included electronics and other items that can be easily converted to cash.

Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Rich Murry said rural burglary activity locally has been quiet of late. Chadderdon also senses a lull, speculating that recent media articles about the crimes may be having a chilling effect on the culprits.

Chadderdon said March was a particularly active month with sometimes several scattered rural break-ins occurring in the same night.

He said state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension resources are being used to determine if the crimes are related based on a small amount of evidence and DNA collected from the crime scenes.

He said the public also has been helpful by calling authorities to report any unusual sights or activity.

“People are calling stuff in, and that’s what we need.”

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