Police investigate string of burglaries in tornado-damaged area
Wadena police are looking into several burglaries in storage sheds and homes in areas of Wadena that were hit by the June 17 tornado.
More than a dozen incidents were detailed in police reports this week, ranging from late August to earlier this week. They include the following reports:
Sometime between 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 and 2 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 6, someone entered a home on the 800 block of 7th Street Southwest. An Apple desktop computer valued at $2,400, a tool kit, flash drive and assortment of towels were taken. The box that the computer came in was also missing, and drawers in the house were rifled through.
On Sunday, Sept. 5, a burglary was reported on the 400 block of 7th Street Southwest. A window was broken out on the home and the thief or thieves stepped on a charcoal grill to climb through the window and onto the kitchen sink. Police believe there were two styles of shoe marks on the grill. It was unknown if anything was missing.
A home on the 800 block of Harmony Lane that was patched up temporarily as construction crews worked on tornado damage was burglarized. The north side door of the residence was kicked in, and the homeowner entered the home and heard noises on Thursday, Aug. 26. She also found a wrapper of a granola bar and a partially drank bottle of water. Police noted a specific footprint at the scene that had been left at other scenes.
A woman on the 400 block of 7th Street Southwest reported a storage trailer on her property was burglarized when a door was pried open and a padlock cut off. A muddy footprint was photographed.
A lock was cut off a large storage shed on the 300 block of 8th Street Southwest. A muddy shoe print that matched other burglaries was photographed, and the tread pattern matched. The only thing reported missing was an 8x10 sign of Snoopy holding a gun that read, "Trespassers will be shot."
Storage lockers on the alley side of a residence on the 1000 block of 7th Street Southwest were entered and the locks were cut off. Nothing seemed to be missing or out of place, the owner said.
Sometime between Sept. 1 and Sept. 2, a residence was broken into on the 800 block of 7th Street Southwest by kicking in the front door. Nothing appeared to have been stolen, but the burglars had to walk past thousands of dollars in tools to get to the basement without taking anything.
A landlord reported damage to three doors on two apartment units damaged by the tornado. Sometime after 3 p.m. on Sept. 2, the two units were entered on the 1000 block of 8th Street Southwest and several items were reported missing, including black Bauer hockey skates, clothing, furs, and a Zorbaz glass full of change.
While investigating another burglary on the 1000 block of 8th Street Southwest, an officer noticed a door kicked in at another residence on that block. Owners were being contacted.
A homeowner on the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue Southwest reported a locked storage pod had a padlock cut away, but he hadn't noticed anything missing.
A padlock was cut away from a storage bin on the 700 block of 5th Street Southwest. Missing were a 1952 silver dollar, 15 buffalo head nickels and wheat pennies, some 50 cent pieces, a leather-wrapped wooden purse and a plastic promotional bottle filled with change. A hand print was found at the scene.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, a homeowner called in a possible prowler in the 100 block of 3rd Street Southeast. The homeowner said his dog chased a person or persons at his residence.
Police were patrolling early in the morning of Sept. 5 and came across an apparent burglary scene. Someone had cut a lock on a garage door. The K-9 dog was called in to search, but no suspects were found at the residence.
No suspects have been found as of press time.