Marcy-Holmes thefts prompt police warning

Amy Hackbarth

Minneapolis police officers are urging Marcy-Holmes residents to increase their home security measures following a string of burglaries in that neighborhood.

At least 16 homes and apartments near University Avenue Southeast and Fourth Avenue Southeast have been burglarized since May 15, a trend officers partially attribute to open or unlocked windows and doors.

“(The suspects) don’t want to attract a lot of attention,” said Minneapolis Police Department Lt. Steve Kincaid. “They’ll cut a window screen or slip in through an open door.”

Police believe at least two people are responsible for the thefts, Kincaid said. In most cases, the thief or thieves stole items such as purses, jewelry and compact discs.

University senior Carissa Skaff said she was watching television when someone stole her purse, cell phone and underwear from her bedroom.

“When I walked in my room, I noticed my underwear drawer was open, the window was up and the screen was pushed through,” Skaff said.

Skaff said the burglar might have used a fire escape to reach the third-floor deck outside her bedroom window. She said she has replaced the locks on her windows and doors and keeps her windows shut when she’s not in the room.

Marcy-Holmes residents can safeguard their homes against burglaries by barring their windows or by keeping them shut, said Kristin Hoppe, Minneapolis Police Department crime prevention specialist.

Preventing easy access to homes should stop the burglary trend, Kincaid said.

“People are subject to conditioning, both positively and negatively,” Kincaid said. “If they achieve a success, they’ll repeat it if it keeps working.”