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Grand Forks Police offer $1,000 reward for help with solving string of burglaries

The Grand Forks Police Department has upped its reward for anyone who can help it solve a string of burglaries. But the agency said there are numerous ways to help prevent and catch criminals, including signing up for a program that gives officer...

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The Grand Forks Police Department has upped its reward for anyone who can help it solve a string of burglaries.

But the agency said there are numerous ways to help prevent and catch criminals, including signing up for a program that gives officers a helping set of eyes across the city.

Investigators have responded to 23 residential burglaries this year in Grand Forks, most of which have been reported on the northeast side of town, according to a news release. The crimes generally happen in the evening with burglars targeting houses where it appears nobody is home, the release said.

In response to the burglaries, the Police Department is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects involved in the crimes, the release said. Police issued a similar statement in December, offering a $500 reward to help them solve a series of burglaries that were reported in November in the same area.

The latest reward offer came out less than 24 hours after the agency posted information on burglary prevention and its SafeCam program, which allows residents and business owners to register their outdoor surveillance cameras with the Police Department, Lt. Jeremy Moe said. Residents can go to the Police Department's website at bit.ly/2J1GvCZ to register cameras.

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"It's a way for us to know that there is a camera system there," he said.

If a crime happens in the area, police can find out if any registered cameras are in the area, ask an owner who joined the SafeCam program if officers can access footage and see if the cameras caught any criminals in the act, Moe said. That could help investigators identify suspects.

The Police Department launched the program in 2015 and would like to get more people signed up, Moe said. The agency also posted a long list of burglary prevention tips at bit.ly/2Gh0v6P, including checking locks, installing motion lighting around houses and garages, keeping up with landscaping and being careful about advertising vacation plans online.

Posting about tips on Facebook is part of the agency's effort to educate the public on crime prevention and other law enforcement issues, Moe said. He hopes the outreach will help teach residents how they can work with each other and the Police Department to prevent and solve crimes.

"If you see something going on that maybe does not seem in the norm or maybe see somebody out and about that is not normally there, give us a call," Moe said. "That is what we're here for. We'd be glad to come check it out."

Those who see suspicious activity or are targeted by burglars are asked to call the Police Department at (701) 787-8000. They also can email cstromberg@grandforksgov.com or submit a tip to the agency's Facebook page, the Police Department's website at grandforksgov.com/government/police or via the Tip411 smartphone app.

Related Topics: BURGLARY
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