Skip to comments.Lakeville police surprise sleeping man with 3 a.m. reminder to lock his doors
Posted on 06/20/2008 6:42:16 AM PDT by LibWhacker
Troy Molde awoke at 3 a.m. Thursday to police flashlights shining in his face. Two uniformed Lakeville officers were in his bedroom, knocking on the wall to wake him up.
They were there, they said, to warn him to keep his doors closed and locked.
Their surprise visit was part of a public service campaign. Officers had fanned out across the city, leaving notices on doors to remind residents how to prevent thefts by keeping garage doors closed, not leaving valuables in cars and locking windows or doors.
But at Molde's house, they went further.
His two sons, ages 5 and 7, and 5-year-old twin nephews were having a sleepover in the living room. They awoke to find the officers in the house.
"I was violated, but ... I wasn't physically damaged," Molde said of what he considers an invasion of privacy.
The officers told Molde his garage door was open, the TV was on, keys to his truck were left in the ignition and the door to his house was ajar.
Police said the intrusion was justified because the officers' initial door knocks went unanswered. Police went inside to check if anything was wrong, Sgt. Jim Puncochar said.
He said the kids were afraid to wake their dad, so the officers went upstairs.
"It really was suspicious," Puncochar said.
But Molde, 34, said he went upstairs to bed at midnight. Molde didn't shut the garage door, and he remembers leaving the doors to his house closed but unlocked. The kids fell asleep watching TV.
Three hours later, he had police in his bedroom. He immediately thought something was wrong.
"I was just dazed," said the 34-year-old dad. "It's not a safe way of (police) protection."
Puncochar said officers left pamphlets Thursday at eight other houses as a friendly reminder of ways residents can avoid becoming victims of crimes, such as burglary.
"We went there to determine that everyone was safe," Puncochar said.
Officers also leave the messages when checking on a home security alarm or to warn of a law violation they see at the residence. The department began using door hangers a year ago to tackle a rise in burglaries in 2006, Chief Tom Vonhof said at the time.
Police say many crimes originate with open garage doors.
Last month, a 52-year-old Burnsville man was stabbed and left to die in his burning town house after two assailants entered his home at 4:30 a.m. by way of an open garage door.
The suspects, who stole the man's car to escape, entered the garage and home through unlocked doors. Police have not found the assailants.
Leaving a door hanger for residents is a method used by other police departments nationally, Vonhof said. It can help create a police presence.
Lakeville police gave Molde a reminder he won't forget anytime soon.
"I haven't figured out what I should do with it yet," Molde said.
“Just damn” comes to mind!
This is how cops, but usually homeowners, get shot.
B&E by the po-po.
Who’da thunk it?
In a sane world, cops wouldn’t be this stupid.
What you should do with it? Take the keys out of your car, lock your doors, thank the cops and shut up.
This is wrong on so many levels. What if the home owner shot them? I would think he would be justified.
Your link is broke.
Can they just come in without the warrant? Fire these ego maniacs
Unfreakin’ believable. Those cops would have likely faced a barrage of bullets if they had done that in my house. And, I would have likely been killed by them. And for what reason? “Public service announcement”
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I’d just as well the police stay off my property and leave me alone.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated... except by 21st century lawmen!
I’m not sure who’s stupider: the person who thought up this bizarre program or the guy who left his garage door open and his front door unlocked - enabling any random pervert to waltz in, abduct three small children and make off in the getaway car the homeowner thoughtfully provided.
Hey if Obama wins this will be more and more common as the state will be coming into alot more law abiding citizens houses. I god darn gaurentee it!
One of the officers quoted in the story was quick to argue that he had probable cause.
BTW ... bboop? You are good slave material. Better not let me catch you when TSHTF ... cause you'll be cleaning my latrine, and doing my laundry.
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