<HR><CENTER><B>Sheriff's Department investigates<br> string of burglaries, break-ins</B></CENTER>

So far, no arrests, but anyone with information

is encouraged to call Sheriff's Department at 283-5000

By Lori Ehde

August has been a busy month for the Rock County Sheriff’s Department as deputies are working on a string of burglaries, break-ins and vandalism.

Aug. 1 dawned with a report by Rock Veterinary Clinic of a burglary in which someone broke into the clinic through a lobby window and stole any cash that could be found inside.

Cash was taken from a candy box and from a floor safe that was taken outside and pried open. The safe was later found on the property.

According to clinic employee Dan Breuer, the cash loss was modest (about $450) considering the value of other items not stolen from the veterinary office.

"It definitely could have been worse, considering a vet’s office has bottles of medicine worth about $200 bottles a crack," Breuer said.

"It’s kind of interesting – we had keys in a vehicle in the garage, and they left that alone, and other than the window and the safe, they didn’t break anything or throw papers around."

Breuer said the clinic hasn’t been notified of any leads on suspects in the investigation.

The Sheriff’s Department did make progress last week, however, on a burglary at Hills Locker Service that was reported Aug. 2.

According to locker owner Tedd Larson, deputies have recovered a $425 digital scale that was stolen sometime between the business’ closing on Aug. 1 and opening on Aug. 2. In addition to the scale, between $150 and $175 was also stolen.

Larson said the scale was found Friday in a car belonging to someone from Luverne. When asked why someone would steal a scale, he speculated that such a scale could be used to measure illegal controlled substances in a private methamphetamine lab. He also added that the Hobart scale salesman had noted other reports of similar scales being stolen recently.

Larson said he was just happy to have the scale returned, and other than scratched off serial numbers, he said the equipment is not damaged.

Rock County Sheriff’s Department investigators aren’t commenting on any of the cases or the likelihood that they’re related, but given the numbers of reported thefts and vandalism this month, deputies have their work cut out for them.

  • On Aug. 2, Hills-Beaver Creek High School reported two windows were broken out of a school bus. Damages are estimated at $200 or more.

  • On Aug. 8, Deloris Dressen reported her 1988 Chevrolet Sprint, valued at about $800, had been stolen from her garage in Magnolia. The following day, it was found in Magnolia and returned to her.

  • On Aug. 9, Nancy Palmquist, Luverne, reported the theft of a girls’ Huffy bike, valued at about $100, from her front yard.

  • On Aug. 11, Chris Smook, Luverne, reported the theft of a Huffy "flat bed" chrome bike valued at $60 taken from the front yard sometime during the night.

  • On Aug. 14, Hills Co-op Farm Elevator reported someone had been either taking anhydrous ammonia (used in illegal production of methamphetamines) or just leaving the hose off the connections in Hills.

  • Also on Aug. 14, the Luverne Building Center reported that someone had broken in and stolen an undetermined amount of cash.

  • On Aug. 15, the city of Hills reported five streetlights had been shot out. Damage is estimated at about $300.

  • On Aug. 17, Luverne High School reported that someone had damaged a football blocking dummy with a knife or other sharp object. Damage is estimated at $200. It would cost $500 to replace the dummy.

  • On Aug. 18, Micky Sehr reported that an undetermined amount of cash had been stolen from the Redbird Field concession stand in Luverne. Further, a Coke machine, valued at roughly $2,000, was taken.

  • Also on Aug. 18, Patricia Melsness reported a decorative Scooby Doo house flag, valued at about $35. had been stolen.

  • On Aug. 19, Evie VandenBerg, reported a cell phone and its 12-volt adapter had been stolen from her vehicle, which was parked in the garage. The items, valued at about $200, were taken sometime between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m.

  • Also on Aug. 19, George Lass reported someone drove a vehicle about 30 feet into his cornfield near Hardwick, causing about $100 worth of damage.

  • Also on Aug. 19, Kristy Groen reported someone had damaged her 1985 black Thunderbird by putting scratches and nasty words on the vehicle. Damage is estimated at about $1,600.

  • Also on Aug. 19, Gordon Swenson, Hardwick, reported his cell phone, valued at about $50, had been stolen from his vehicle while it was parked at Casey’s on South Highway 75. He estimated it had been taken sometime between 6 and 6:30 a.m.

  • On Aug. 22, Hohn Implement, Luverne, reported someone had broken through a shop window and stole an undetermined amount of cash.

    Anyone with information on any of these cases is encouraged to call the Rock County Sheriff’s Department at 283-5000.
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