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Authorities investigating spate of St. Croix County break-ins

Authorities in St. Croix County are piecing together clues in an effort to find out who’s responsible for a rash of thefts in recent weeks.

More than 20 such incidents have resulted in stolen property and even more reports have surfaced about vehicles being rifled through, said St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Scott Knudson.

The thefts began around July 8 and continued through last weekend, when police in Roberts investigated numerous reports in that community. Sheriff’s investigators, meanwhile, are looking into theft reports from unlocked vehicles in the towns of Troy, Hudson and Kinnickinnic.

“We are looking to see if these are connected,” Knudson said, noting “there seems to be a pattern or common theme.”

He said no suspects have been identified so far.

Authorities are also investigating whether two town of Troy auto thefts from July 6 are connected to the crimes. Those incidents were reported at Complete Lawn Care and Total Excavating, where company vehicles were reported stolen.

The lawn care business reported a Ford F250 with an enclosed trailer containing lawn equipment was stolen. Other vehicles on the Complete Lawn Care property were also found with their ignitions punched, Knudson said.

At Total Excavating, a Ford F150 pickup was stolen, according to the sheriff’s office.

Later that weekend, between July 8-9, residents in the Troy Burne neighborhood reported several thefts from vehicles, including one incident where cash, prescription medication and a laptop computer were stolen.

Seven more reports of thefts from vehicles surfaced July 14 from residents on River Drive and Quarry Road in the town of Kinnickinnic, Knudson said.

That was followed by eight more similar reports from the town of Hudson between July 15-16. One of those cases involved entry to an unlocked garage, which Knudson said constitutes a burglary.

According to a list of reports from Roberts police, officers there took a total of 20 reports the morning of July 14 involving either suspicious activity or thefts. Those incidents occurred mainly on North Cheyenne Street and Durango Drive.

In a Facebook post, Roberts police urged residents to lock their homes and vehicles and to report suspicious activity to authorities.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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