<CENTER><B>Local burglary and<br> vandalism spree continues</B></CENTER>

By Lori Ehde

Burglars and vandals have continued their spree of thefts and break-ins in the past week, but Rock County Sheriff Ron McClure said investigators are making progress on some cases.

"We're following several leads and we're making every effort to make it a priority," McClure said Tuesday. "Everyone's got an idea who it could be, but we're just going to continue patrolling as we have been."

He said the dispatch reports point to two separate types of activity likely committed by two different groups of criminals.

He said a group juveniles is likely responsible for the vandalism, such as shooting out street lights in Hills and scratching paint on cars. "That's definitely a separate bunch," McClure said. "We presume it's kids doing that."

But he said evidence is pointing to an older group of individuals likely responsible for the middle-of-the-night burglaries.

In the case of Hills Locker Service where a stolen scale turned up in a Luverne car, McClure said investigators are now working with the County Attorney's Office on a possible charges.

"We have questioned suspects in that particular case, but no one has been arrested," McClure said.

In addition to the burglaries and vandalism reported in last week's Star Herald, the list of dispatch reports this week is equally as long:

  • On Aug. 19, Palace Video reported theft of cash and five CDs, valued at roughly $85.

  • On Aug. 24, the City of Hills reported someone had shot out two streetlights on South Central Avenue in Hills, possibly with a BB gun. Replacement value is approximately $100. (On Aug. 15 Hills reported five streetlights had been shot out.)

  • Also on Aug. 24, the city of Hills reported someone opened up the valve of the water tower releasing about 20,000 gallons of water.

  • On Aug. 27, Kyle Kreun, Luverne, reported someone broke into his 1988 Chevrolet Barretta Coupe while it was parted on the North side of Sharkee's. Taken was an 800 watt amp valued at $300, 15 CDs valued at $90, a $20 radio antenna, two headlight covers of unknown value and one CD case valued at $20. There were pry marks on the passenger door of the car, the roof of the car was damaged and the windshield was broken.

  • Also on Aug. 27, Mark Jacobson Inc. reported someone had broken into the rear window of a 1998 Mercury while it was parked in the driveway on the 400 block of Central Lane. The approximate cost to replace the window is $800.

  • Also on Aug. 27 Keith Maine, Luverne, reported someone broke a window of his 1987 Chevy Cavalier Station Wagon while it was parked on the 700 block of N. Oakley. The approximate cost to replace the window is $200.

  • On Aug. 28, Daniel Spreiter, Luverne, reported someone broke into a 1994 Plymouth van and stole a black leather purse, credit cards, checkbook and watch. Approximate value is $625.

    McClure declined to comment on the recent cases, because he doesn't want to jeopardize the investigation.

    But he said he's still encouraging the public to come forward with information. "Anything suspicious that the public sees and can help us with we appreciate," he said.

    The Sheriff's Department phone number is 283-5000. The Star Herald office is also accepting tips - anonymous, if need be. The number is 283-2333.
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