For the sake of summer security, remember to lock up

Former Roseville area state representative and school board member Mindy Greiling said she woke up the morning of July 22 unsure if she’d dreamed the noises she heard overnight, or if they were real.

She went about the start of the day as normal, grabbing the newspaper from outside, but during a trip down to the basement, grass clippings on the floor piqued her interest. Then she noticed that all the drawers on her husband’s desk were wide open.

“Then I remember what I’d thought was a bad dream,” said Greiling.

She’d woken hours earlier from a deep sleep to the sound of somebody walking forcefully around her home. That person ran down the stairs and then outside.

“I didn’t get terrified because I wasn’t awake,” said Greiling, pointing out her husband slept through it.

Following the discovery of the desk, Greiling said she pieced together what was missing: some restaurant gift cards from the center console of her husband’s car, the garage door opener from hers and her granddaughter’s piggybank.

She also said she figured out how the prowler entered her home. When her husband had finished mowing the lawn the day prior, he’d forgotten to lock the back service door to the attached garage, which leads straight into her home.

Roseville Police Deputy Chief Erika Scheider said law enforcement expects to see an uptick in burglaries during the warm months, and that her department is seeing slightly more illegal entries than the same timeframe a year ago.

“Certainly not a dramatic increase — summer certainly tends to be busier,” she said.

Scheider said the majority of the cases police are seeing are similar to Greiling’s — they involve unlocked homes, vehicles, garages and sheds.

The No. 1 thing residents can do to protect their property is to make sure doors, or whatever can be opened, are locked, Scheider said.

A secondary, neighborly concern is to let folks who live nearby know if they’ve left open a garage door.

“Some of these nice summer nights, people are out, it’s easier to forget about that garage door,” Scheider said. “People are gardening — it’s easy to leave that door open.”

Greiling said her neighbors on the east side of Roseville reported similar happenings in July, and Scheider said investigators are working the cases. In some instances, there are suspects.

Scheider said it’s important for residents, should they suspect something is going on inside their home, to immediately call the police, since minutes matter. 

The deputy chief also said that according to some folks who Roseville PD arrested this spring, the community’s open tendencies can be to its detriment.

“They [said they] come to Roseville and other suburbs because people are more likely to leave things unlocked,” Scheider said. “It’s nice people feel safe, but criminals also know that.”

As for Greiling, she said she changed the programming for her garage door, rendering that stolen garage door opener useless should the thief return for another go. She’s also now making sure to set her alarm system each night — it wasn’t on when her home was burglarized because she and her husband were home.

Though she said a different Roseville home she lived in during the mid-70s was burglarized the week after Christmas, “That time we weren’t home so that felt different.”

“You don’t think about it when you’re home,” she said. 

“The fact that one person came in the house and we were home — the brazenness of it all.”

 

–Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813. 

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