Golden Valley Police Arrest Six People in Theft Spree
Golden Valley police credit an alert resident with helping authorities put a stop to a group of people stealing from vehicles.
Police got at a call at about 5 a.m. Saturday of multiple people opening cars and rummaging through them. They were spotted in the area of 23rd and Valders Avenues North, just west of Winnetka Avenue. Police believe they may have stolen from up to 20 vehicles in the area.
Most of the cases were crimes of opportunity. Almost all involved vehicles left unlocked. Thanks to the tip caller, police used heat sensing technology that allowed them to surround the suspects.
Golden Valley police Sgt. Tom Buffie showed CCX News how police use a thermal imaging camera to spot suspicious activity. Golden Valley has had the technology for about two years.
“It’s able to pick a heat signature, and the officer that first arrived was able to see them approximately three blocks away and was able to watch them walking down the street,” said Buffie. “It was very nice because he could sit there from a distance where it’s at night, they can’t see him, but he could see them. And he was able to wait for other officers to respond, kind of swarm in on them. So they didn’t give them the opportunity to run.”
With the thermal imaging camera, officers were able to watch the suspects walk up driveways.
Police ultimately arrested five adults and one teenager. Four were from Minneapolis. Two did not have a permanent address.