‘Car shopping’ in Falcon Heights

In mid June, Falcon Heights saw multiple small sprees of people rifling through cars left unlocked overnight.

It’s an activity typically carried out by kids, said Randy Gustafson, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office public information officer and also a Falcon Heights City Council member. They walk around checking to see if cars are unlocked — it’s known as “car shopping,” he said.

Three reports came from the 1800 block of Asbury Street the morning of June 21. All came from people who said their unlocked cars were parked outside, either in the street or on a driveway, and that they were entered sometime the night before. 

One Asbury Street resident called the sheriff’s office and said vehicles belonging to her and her husband were rummaged through, and a can holding some $50 in change was taken. But the woman did not want to make a formal report. She just wanted to let the police know. 

Later that day, the woman called back to make that formal report. She was instructed to do so by the Roseville Police Department, which found her cell phone with juveniles they’d arrested for car shopping, Gustafson said a deputy noted in a report. Roseville police also found the can of change.

All three cases from the car shopping spree the night of June 20 resulted in theft. In one, about $50 in gift cards and sunglasses were stolen from a woman who’d left the items in her unlocked car.

In another incident, a woman’s iPhone 6 was stolen, though she also did not want to make a report. 

Five other reports had come into the sheriff’s office all occurring sometime overnight between June 18 and 19 at points in Falcon Heights along Hoyt,  Larpenteur and Holton avenues, though of the five reports, only one theft occurred.

There were reports to RCSO of one unlocked parked car on Hoyt, one on Holton and two on Larpenteur that were rifled through but nothing was missing. An iPhone 6 was stolen from an unlocked car rummaged through in the 1400 block of Larpenteur, but the caller decided against a formal report, wishing only to give deputies a heads up.

As for the take-away from all this, Gustafson said to be aware of what you’re leaving in your car, and even if it’s a bit inconvenient, to make sure to lock it.


— Solomon Gustavo

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