While it’s not a sharp increase from previous years, there has been a noticeable rise in thefts and scams in Valley County and in Glasgow. Gone are the days where you can leave home with the door unlocked, or leave your car unlocked at the grocery store.
Valley County Sheriff Glen Meier explained that this weekend a trolling motor and some coolers were recovered from a previous reported theft. The items were found stashed in some trees near by the Dredge Cuts. Charges were pending for the crime.
It may not be a large crime, but it is part of a trend. The items were stolen from a boat. The cover was taken off where the items were located.
“People need to start locking their doors and the doors to their vehicles,” Meier said. “Campers need to secure their equipment so there’s less opportunity for these people.”
The sheriff said that money has also gone missing from several homes in the past six months. Cash left out on tables, counters and other easily viewed areas are easy items to prey, especially with the doors unlocked. Without a locked door, there is no evidence of a break-in. Meier also said a man with a crowbar hanging out by your front door would also draw attention to your neighbors.
“Anything you leave out is a subject for theft,” Meier said.
While the city hasn’t seen an increase in theft, Glasgow Police Chief Bruce Barstad said it has seen a rising trend in scams when purchasing items from the internet. He said some people are trying to purchase larger items like vehicles, jet skis and furniture and losing their funds.
“Any time they ask for money orders, or want to see the money first, there’s an issue,” Barstad said.
Going to see the item in person before purchase, and meeting with someone at a public place to see the physical title before making the purchase can help you from becoming a victim of a scam. With Bakken traffic coming through, along with more drug-related thefts, it’s good to be aware and proactive.
Other tips to prevent theft are to alert your neighbors you can trust if you’ll be leaving the home and ask them to keep a watch on your property. Be sure to have spotlights or the porch light on at night for better visibility and don’t place any viewable items of value near windows.