Police in Big Lake are alerting residents to an ongoing wave of burglaries that bear a striking similarity to those reported elsewhere in the west metro last month.
On June 4, four local residences were hit by thieves whose M.O. is taking garage door openers out of unlocked cars and using them to gain entry to victims' homes, according to this Facebook post from the Big Lake PD:
All four incidents happened while the victims were asleep, the post says.
Big Lake police are working with "multiple agencies involved in this very large-scale investigation"; so far, they've been able to identify at least one suspect in Minneapolis by tracking a stolen credit card.
The post calls the apparent crime ring "very sophisticated," and says it's hit "the entire west end of the metropolitan area."
These thieves have also struck the cities of Monticello, Buffalo, and Plymouth in the past week.
Their use of garage door openers to access homes would suggest they're the same group who committed several burglaries in Independence, Loretto and Orono last month, though Big Lake police don't specifically mention those incidents.
Authorities are continuing to warn residents to lock their homes and cars, and to remove garage door openers and other valuables from vehicles parked outside.
Anyone with information on these crimes is urged to contact Big Lake Police Investigator Rich Berg at 763-251-2987, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also submit anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers of Minnesota.