Property owners frustrated with thefts

Bars added to a window at a local business after multiple break-ins have occurred at property.

After another reported break-in to personal property late last week, local authorities are reminding residents and business owners to take extra precautions with their homes and businesses.
Both Flandreau Chief of Police Zach Weber and Moody County Sheriff Troy Wellman confirm that overnight thefts primarily are once again on the rise. Generally, according to Wellman, the thefts are to feed a drug habit and the thief or thieves are targeting small, easy to pawn items. One person in particular is suspected in many of the Flandreau-area break-ins but there have been no arrests made or recent charges filed to date.
Weber told the Moody County Enterprise on Monday that the city has had 25 calls relating to burglaries in 2022 compared to 17 at this same time a year ago. Trespassing calls as well as suspicious person/vehicle/event calls have also increased from a year ago this same time.
“Lock your houses/sheds and vehicles,” said Weber. He and others advise outdoor lighting, preferably motion sensing lights, and if you are leaving your house for an extended amount of time, that you ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your house or request extra patrols from the Police Department.
Security cameras and alarms are also recommended.
“Keep your stuff locked, documented, and if you see something say something,” added Wellman. Property owners, he advised, really should, “Keep track of serial numbers so you can prove ownership or have a distinguishable making that can be taken off.”
Even that may not be enough to recover stolen property or prove someone guilty, said Scott Ahlers, who knows the situation all too well firsthand.
Ahlers has had his Flandreau auto repair shop broken into repeatedly in recent years — by the same person referenced above. Security camera footage and other evidence haven’t been enough to hold the man he feels responsible, accountable.
“Case is closed - unresolved until any further evidence can be obtained,” reads the police report.
Ahlers installed angle iron on all of his windows and reinforced every other point of entry into his business. It’s all he knows to do to protect his livelihood and staff.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Ahlers. “This person needs help, he needs help, he needs help. I’m upset with what we lost...but he needs help. Get him some help.”

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