Police to public: Keep your doors locked, lights on and eyes open
A rash of residential and commercial burglaries and thefts have hit Stillwater County in recent weeks from Molt to Nye.
“The obvious thing is lock your doors. This goes for homes, garages, sheds, and vehicles. It won’t deter every thief, but it certainly helps,” said Stillwater County Undersheriff Chip Kem. “Be aware of your habits and patterns because burglars are too. If you are away from home at the same time every day, they notice.”
The most recent rounds of criminal activity started Monday, Dec. 8, with a residential burglary in Park City that was discovered when the homeowner returned after being gone for several days. On Dec. 9, a lock was cut off a storage shed near Broadview and items including tractor batteries and a power inverter were stolen. On Dec. 10, a house-sitter in Park City found the front door to the home wide open as well as gates and locks on the property open. And on Dec. 13, a home in Molt was burglarized and property stolen.
During that same timeframe locks were discovered cut off at least 11 storage units in Columbus and Absarokee.
A week prior, McDonalds in Columbus was burglarized and just days later, town property was stolen as well as a business’s storage shed broken into and construction equipment taken. That property was recovered in Billings and remains under investigation.
At the end of November, a Park City resident came home to find a burglar in his home who fled the scene. Two other Park City residential burglaries were reported in November, both involving thefts.
Also reported in November were the burglaries of two homes in the Nye area which windows had been broken to gain entry.
Kem also said that using light timers or leaving lights on is important this time of year as it gets dark before people come home from work.
“If lights are off at 5 p.m., it’s a safe assumption for thieves that nobody is home,” said Kem. “Get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other. Let them know when you’re going to be gone. They can let you or law enforcement know if anything out of the ordinary happens.”