by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Elk River Police have beefed up neighborhood patrols and are reminding residents to lock their vehicles after reports of thefts from motor vehicles have come into the department.

Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz said people should also remove valuables and overhead garage door openers from their vehicles.

“Most of these incidents were crimes of opportunity where the suspect(s) tried the car door and were able to get right in the car,” he said.

Among the items that have been reported stolen are keys, a garage door opener and a purse.

There also was a truck stolen in Elk River the night of June 21. Kluntz said he can’t confirm for sure that it’s related to the tamperings. “However, it is likely,” he said. “We are still working these cases.”

The truck, a 2006 gray Ford Ranger, had its keys inside and was stolen from the 19400 block of Vernon.

Kluntz said police had seen the vehicle, unoccupied, earlier in the evening of June 21 near the intersection of Troy Street and Mississippi Road. When it was reported stolen, officers returned to that location and confirmed that it was the missing truck.

The truck was processed and released to its owner.

Accused of forging dead dad’s signature

Kluntz said police arrested a Milaca man, 35, on suspicion of check forgery after he allegedly passed checks from his dead father’s account at Applebee’s and Cub Foods in Elk River.

Police had initially responded to a report of a “dine and dash” at Applebee’s at 10:17 p.m. June 23. Three people had left in a vehicle and paid for the tab via check, but the business does not accept checks. The vehicle was located in the lot of a nearby business and the man admitted he forged the signature of his deceased father on the checks.

A spin on the grass leads to DWI charge

An Elk River woman, 35, who was driving in the grass near a townhome area and then stopped in the middle of the road was arrested for DWI.

Police responded to the traffic complaint at 11:08 p.m. June 22 at 182nd Avenue and Trott Brook Parkway in Elk River.

Report of vehicle off road, people fighting

Police were called to the 17800 block of Tyler Drive in Elk River at 2:42 a.m. June 22 on a report of a vehicle off the road and people fighting.

An Elk River man, 18, was arrested for DWI, Kluntz said.

Man mowing grass by highway finds purse

A black purse has been reunited with its owner, thanks to a man mowing the grass along the highway between I-94 and Highway 169 in Maple Grove.

The man had found the purse as he was mowing and contacted the owner via Facebook. The owner asked him to bring it to the Elk River Police Department so she could pick it up. He did so on June 24 and the woman picked it up a day later. Nothing was missing; Her checks, credit cards, Social Security card and other items were all inside.

Rear window mysteriously breaks

A motorist reported that the rear window of her vehicle shattered as she was turning onto southbound Highway 169 from 205th Avenue in Elk River. It is unknown what caused the damage.

The incident was reported to police at 4:16 p.m. June 25.

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