Lake Elmo and Oakdale experiencing uptick in residential break-ins

Oakdale is experiencing an increase in the number of burglaries in the northeast corner of the city, according to police. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office also noted an increase in burglaries in the neighboring portion of Lake Elmo, known as the Tri-Lakes area. • courtesy of Oakdale Police Department

Lake Elmo and Oakdale are experiencing an increase in the number of break-ins, especially in instances where doors to vehicles, garages or homes are left unlocked.

On Nov. 4, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was called to two similar incidents in Lake Elmo that occurred just after 10 p.m. in the northwest part of the city, known as the Tri-Lakes area.

In one instance, a man in his late teens or early twenties entered an unlocked vehicle and took a garage door opener and used it to enter the home through the attached garage, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

The homeowner and a dog confronted the burglar inside, and according to Washington County Cmdr. Doug Anschutz, the man left without taking anything from the home. The man, who was described as having “large hair” and a medium build, was seen getting into a dark blue crossover SUV, according to police.

Anschutz explained that in the other incident, a prowler entered an unlocked vehicle, but a resident saw the person before he or she could take anything. The person fled in a vehicle with a similar description to the one in the first break-in, though there was no description of the suspect.

The sheriff’s office also noted in a statement that a similar incident occurred in Oakdale around the same time. Officer Michelle Stark confirmed, adding that there have been seven burglaries in the northeast portion of Oakdale since September, with three of them having occurred in the same week as the Lake Elmo incidents.

“All have a common entry point — open/unsecured garage service doors, standing open overhead garage doors and unlocked vehicle car doors with access to an electronic garage door opener,” Stark said.

Anschutz advised residents to lock their cars even when their vehicles are in their driveways.

A recent statement from the Oakdale Police Department adds that it is a good practice for residents to take all valuables with them when they leave their vehicles, including items that may contain personal information such as check stubs, financial statements, bills and health care information.

Both the Oakdale Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have released statements saying that patrols have been increased in the areas where burglaries have been occurring and asked residents to report suspicious activity at the time it is observed by calling 911.

For more information on how to prevent burglaries, visit

– Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Comment Here