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Four Arrested In Theft Of Unlocked Homes, Cars

June 14, 2010, 6:09 PM by Cherlene Richards

Four Arrested In Theft Of Unlocked Homes, Cars
SIOUX FALLS,SD - Burglars didn't go empty handed this weekend in Sioux Falls, but neither did police.  They've arrested four men, charged in an early morning series of burglaries near East Marson Drive and South Bahnson Avenue.  Officials say some homes may not realize they're missing items.  That's because police believe the garages and cars were left unlocked.

In fact, one homeowner had left his garage open for a matter of minutes, before he returned and scared off a stranger going through his car. Police later pulled over a car with four men, found stolen items and arrested them for burglary.

Now they're concerned there are more victims out there. Officials say someone burglarized at least 6 homes or vehicles in one neighborhood around 2 a.m. Monday.

And they believe these four 18 year olds are responsible.

Cody Wirkus, Saige Toft, Tanner McDonnell and Matthew Fischer, all of Sioux Falls, are all charged with first degree burglary. Two also face drug charges.

Detective Sean Kooistra says all of the victims live within a couple blocks of this intersection. And as people check their belongings, the number of victims could rise. Police found six of them early Monday morning.

“Some of these victims were located because offices had, checked the area, and if they saw something that looked suspicious, or out of the ordinary, they made contact with homeowners,” Kooistra said.

Kooistra says officers noticed things like garage doors left open, lights on, and even car doors open, which is why people should make sure to lock up everything.

“It appears to be very seasonal, and it appears to be, people just have a tough time, if they get in the habit sometime, of locking their vehicles, and, until they become a victim, unfortunately, they realize that they need to start locking their doors,” Kooistra said.

In one case, police believe a car alarm may have worked. They spoke with a seventh person in the area whose alarm went off but nothing was taken. Officers are also checking on previous burglary reports to see whether they could be connected.

Anyone with information should call the Sioux Falls Police Department at (605) 367-7000.

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