Burglaries, attempted break-ins continue

As a string of burglaries and attempted break-ins continue to be reported to Stillwater Police, investigators might have their first break when a homeowner spotted a surprised suspect leaving the homeowner’s garage.

The incident occurred Friday morning at a home in the 700 block of Everett Street, according to a Stillwater Police Department incident report. The homeowner told officers he was sitting next to his garage when a young man exited the garage service door, saw the homeowner, uttered an expletive and fled the area on foot, the report said.

The homeowner described the person leaving his garage as a slender white male, possibly a teenager or slightly older, wearing a dark blue shirt, the report said. An officer searching for the suspect found a dark blue shirt at the base of a power pole at the Chillikoot Cafe, the report added.

Along with finding the shirt, officers also found a small bicycle in the homeowner’s yard, the report said. Officers took the bike as evidence after the homeowner said it did not belong to any of his children.

The homeowner told officers the garage service door was unlocked, but he did not believe anything was missing, the report said. Officers searched the area but did not find anyone matching the description of the person the homeowner saw leaving his garage.

The Everett Street incident was one of two burglary-related incidents reported to Stillwater Police. Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Friday, officers were called to an attempted break-in at a building in the 400 block of Main Street North, according to an incident report.

The building owner told officers that someone tried, but failed to kick open one of the building’s rear service doors, the report said. The owner added that whoever tried to break in caused about $300 damage to the door.

Friday’s two incidents were followed by three separate reports called in to Stillwater Police in the space of about an hour Sunday morning.

Shortly after 7:30 a.m. Sunday, a woman her dog at Sunrise Park found a purse and its contents belonging to a woman who reported that her purse had been taken from her Hidden Valley Lane home, an incident report said.

The victim told officers she and her family returned from a wedding about 11 p.m. Saturday and she put her purse on the kitchen table, the report said. The victim’s son told officers he went to the Oak Park Heights Walmart about 1 a.m. and returned home at 3 a.m. to find the garage service door and garage door to the residence both open, the report added.

About 8 a.m. Sunday, a homeowner in the 900 block of Pine Tree Trail called Stillwater Police to report that someone had broken into his car and taken his wallet and and iPod Touch, an incident report said. The victim told officers he was sure he locked his car, but there was no evidence the car doors or locks had been tampered with, the report added.

As officers investigated the Pine Tree Trail car break-in, they saw residents of a nearby home picking up items thrown in the yard of the home where the car incident occurred. One of the persons picking up the items told officers that someone entered their unsecured home overnight and took a handbag, the report said.

The homeowner added that his sliding patio door was unsecured and when he woke up early Sunday morning, the door was ajar and the handbag missing, the report said. The homeowner told officers that nothing else was taken from his home and the handbag contained nothing of value.

An SPD investigator said recently it appears the burglaries and attempted break-ins are crimes of opportunity in which suspects are looking for unlocked doors to enter cars or homes.

The SPD reminds residents to lock all the doors to their homes, any vehicles parked outdoors, and report any suspicious persons or activity to police.