Police offer tips to avoid break-ins during spring break season

Spring is in the air and with more people out and leaving for spring break, certain crimes are popping up.

Because of the turning season, law enforcement is offering some tips to prevent break-ins and thefts during this time of year. Police in Wayzata told FOX 9 that they’ve seen an increase in break-ins to unlocked cars, but it’s happening in other communities, too.

Police say criminals take advantage of the good weather and the fact that more people are outside when it warms up.

“Winter is over, spring is around the corner and you’ll see more foot traffic, and more foot traffic can mean more problems,” said Sgt. Dustin Edberg, of the Wayzata Police Department.

Wayzata PD is warning of some of those recent problems, including car break-ins around town.

“Thieves like to target things that sell,” Edberg said. “iPads, purses, laptops, GPS units. Keep those things out of sight and they won’t be stolen.”

Police have another spring crime on their radar, too. Burglaries are more common as families head out for spring break and leave their homes empty.

While you can hope for a nice neighbor, not everyone is as vigilant as the Schwoch family.

“We try to report anything if it looks out of place,” said Jake Schwoch.

If you are planning on leaving town this spring, law enforcement says they have three important tips before you leave:

  1. Stop by your local police station and let them know you’ll be gone. They can send extra patrols to keep an eye on your house.
  2. Stop at your local post office and ask that they hold the mail while you’re out of town so nobody knows by your mailbox that you’re not around.
  3. Don’t post anything about your trip on social media including where you’re going or how long you’ll be gone.

Police say it’s about giving the impression that you’re home so you can enjoy spring wherever you are without worry.

“I feel like it’s the Minnesota nice sort of mentality people are looking out for one another and have each other’s backs hopefully,” said Natalie Lambert.

Both Eagan and Apple Valley Police Departments also told FOX 9 they’ll be doing extra patrols during the upcoming spring break time.

They also recommend putting your lights on timers and making sure your trash is taken care of while you’re gone.