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Fargo police investigating a series of related home burglaries

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Chief Dave Zibolski says the break-ins have occurred when homeowners are away for an extended period of time. They have been happening since December.

Fargo Police are investigating a string of burglaries they believe to be related.

Police Chief Dave Zibolski says the robberies began about six months ago, and all happened when the residents were not home. He says the perpetrators gained entry by cutting cables and electrical cords on the outside of the home, possibly to disable security systems, and got inside by forcing entry through windows or sliding glass doors.

Zibolski says the robberies have been centered around the Centennial, Rose Creek, Stonebridge and Timberline neighborhoods.

"We don't have any video releasable for public consumption at this juncture; we do have good leads we are working on. Why they're targeting these houses - we'll probably know better once we catch the individuals who are involved. Some of them are higher end homes, but not all of them. The key component that we see is that the people are not home, and it was evident in some fashion - especially in the winter ones. During the winter and people are gone for a week or two weeks, and someone isn't maintaining the snow plowing and clearing, it's pretty easy to pick those houses out. In the summertime, it's more difficult, so we're not exactly sure how they're determining that. But that appears to be the common thread."

Zibolski says extra precautions can be taken to protect homeowners from being targeted. He says motion-censored alarms, in addition to door alarms, with battery backups can be effective. He also recommends that residents notify neighbors of when they will be gone, and to document and store valuables in secure locations.

"We strongly encourage everyone to photograph valuables, things that are highly valuable - watches, jewelry, etcetera. If it's something you can mark and put a serial number on it, or it already has a number on it - like firearms, and things of that nature - go through your house and create an inventory of those items. Even if stolen, having those photos, the marking of them or the serial numbers is critically important to us in terms of us locating those items, should they be pawned at some other location, and then making sure we can verify it is your property. And that we can identify who's involved."

Zibolski says tips can be submitted by calling the non-emergency line, at 701-541-7660, or by texting to 847411.

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