For the past several months, Dane County has been afflicted with multiple vehicle and home break ins, resulting in the theft of property. Dane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to two home invasions during the early hours on Friday, Oct. 4. Additionally, multiple thefts from vehicles and homes in Marshall were reported during a similar time period.

According to a post on the Marshall Police Department’s Facebook page, several vehicles were entered as were homes, when suspects gained entry to the residence with the use of garage door openers. The post indicated items were stolen. The incidents mainly occurred in the northeast area of the village.

“This has been a common tactic in Madison and all the surrounding areas,” the department announced on its Facebook post.

The Marshall Police Department urges all residents to lock their vehicles at night and to not place any items of value in plain sight inside vehicles. Furthermore, people are asked to lock the door between their home and garage so if the garage door opener is accessed, that door is still locked.

“Additionally, in (the Oct. 4) incidents, people saw suspicious behavior and didn’t notify law enforcement right away. We urge you to call us for any suspicious activity in your neighborhood immediately,” the department wrote. “These suspect(s) are very brazen and often know they are entering homes with people inside of them. They do not care! They target wallets, purses, keys, and anything they can find in your home.”

Marshall police have asked anyone who lives in the northwest area of the village, including Sunnyview, Meadowview, Lewellen, Water Tower, Indian Summer and Bentwood, who may have video footage of the thefts to submit those recordings to the department.

Waterloo Police Chief Denis Sorenson said the city has not had any such break-ins, but urges people to lock their vehicles and garages as well as their homes.

“Most perpetrators are looking for unlocked houses and garages attempting to not be noticed. Be vigilant and watch out for suspicious activity. Keep buildings and vehicles secure at all times. Never leave a vehicle parked running and unattended as this is also inviting to car thieves. Thinking and practicing safety goes a long way to staying safe,” he said.

As for the home invasions, the first occurred Oct. 4 at approximately 2:25 a.m. on Highway TT in the town of York, when suspects entered the home using keys they obtained from an unlocked vehicle. A purse and two sets of vehicle keys were taken from the home before the suspects fled. The property was later found in a stolen vehicle recovered in the City of Madison. That vehicle was stolen during an incident in Sun Prairie.

The second home invasion occurred on Powers Avenue in the town of Blooming Grove at approximately 4:45 a.m. The homeowner reported a suspect entered their residence through an unlocked front door and stole a cell phone. Again, other homes/apartments nearby, but within the City of Madison, were broken into around the same time.

The sheriff’s office cannot stress enough, the need for homeowners to be extremely diligent about securing their homes and vehicles.

“This is a large and organized group of criminals that are becoming increasingly brazen. They are swarming entire neighborhoods in search of easy targets. No area/neighborhood is considered off limits. In several recent burglaries throughout the county, firearms have been stolen and there is a high likelihood that some of these thieves may be armed. In addition to locking homes and vehicles, we encourage citizens to keep their outdoor lights on throughout the night and do not leave valuables like wallets, purses and car keys where they are easily accessible,” the release stated.

Law enforcement is also asking for the public’s help in catching the perpetrators. If you see or hear suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call 911 immediately.

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