Incident in FL Monday highlights need to lock up

Police urge residents to secure vehicles, houses, businesses


Clint Riese
News Editor

Police in Forest Lake are strongly urging residents to take simple steps to protect their possessions after a recent incident underscored what is becoming a recurring problem.

A Gem Lake, Minn. man was arrested Monday after the stolen truck he was in rolled over in Forest Lake. Capt. Greg Weiss believes the man and one companion were in town looking to steal items from unlocked vehicles.

The timing was fitting, as several police officers spent Sunday night writing out crime alert cards to residents who left things unlocked. In total, the department left 36 cards; 26 for unlocked vehicles, seven for open garage doors and three for open business doors.

In all, the police officers found a lot of opportunities for crime in a small amount of time.

Weiss said the small effort of securing vehicles and buildings is a big crime deterrent.

“It’s very rare that we get broken windows on cars as long as valuables are not in clear, plain sight,” he said.

Monday’s Incident

Police responded to the rollover Monday in the area of Fallbrook Avenue and 240th Street North. Witnesses on the scene told police that the two passengers had fled on foot, according to Weiss.

The Forest Lake Police Department was assisted in the subsequent search by a canine team from Washington County and by a State Patrol helicopter. One suspect, Samuel Peter Wallin, was apprehended west of the interstate near Cub Foods. The 25-year-old has been charged with two felonies, one for fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance and one for aiding and abetting receiving stolen property. The second suspect has yet to be caught.

The truck is from Illinois and was stolen from Bloomington, Minn. three weeks ago.