Chief Andres on uptick in property crime in Sleepy Eye
Over the last month and a half or so we have had a large uptick in property crimes. Many of these crimes have been against older buildings that are little used or appear to not be in current use. Not all the locations have been like this; we have had some damage done to vehicles as well. Items have been stolen and damage has been done.
The nature of these types of crimes leads the Police to believe that the suspects are younger, anywhere from 12 to 16 years old. I am not saying all the crimes committed have been committed by this age group but history, common sense and 17 years of Law Enforcement experience led me to this conclusion. This conclusion is shared by our Officers as well.
I am asking parents/guardians to check in with their kids and to know where they are after dark. The Sleepy Eye Police Department and Brown County Law Enforcement in general has had a busy spring so far. I understand that everyone is sick of being cooped up and wants to get outside but there must be a line made known to the youth that they should not be crossing. Thefts, damage to property, burglary and trespassing will not be tolerated and we will charge these crimes out whenever we can.
Parents can play a huge part in preventing these crimes from occurring. I do want parents to understand the concept of restitution, as well. If your child is caught and charged with damage to property, they may face a light punishment due to their age, but that damage can come to thousands of dollars that will become the parents’ responsibility to repay. Please talk with your children about making good decisions when out.
The city of Sleepy Eye has a curfew of 11 p.m. for anyone 15 years old and younger. I have asked the night Officers to make curfew a priority in their duties this spring and stop any person out who seems to be underage. Officers will be bringing home any juveniles found out after 11 p.m. and giving them a warning for curfew violation. After the warning they will start issuing citations for curfew violations. Also please talk with your children that running form the Police is not the answer. Running from Law Enforcement is a crime in itself.
I hope everyone has a fun spring and summer and gets out of the house. Just please do so in a safe and legal manner.