Thief bait

In the Northfield area, there’s a crime spree underway that could be stopped in a second if drivers would simply do one thing — remove valuables from the car.

A read of any police blotter in the local community newspapers reveals a startling trend of leaving purses and wallets on the passenger seat. At the risk of blaming the victim, just one question: “why?”

According to the Northfield News, people are leaving iPods and iPads out in the open and then leaving the car unlocked. One more question, please: “why?”

Twenty-two vehicles were broken into over the weekend, the Northfield News says.

The police in Northfield are reminding people to at least lock their cars.

That doesn’t always work.


That’s a picture of WCCO anchor/reporter Jason Derusha’s car. I swiped the image from his Facebook page where he reported thieves in Minneapolis had an easy way of getting around the “lock your car” thing, swiping his GPS last night.

I had the same problem last year when someone stole a GPS from my car, which I’d left unlocked.

It’s getting the point where it’s a lot less of a pain in the neck to wander around lost.

  • Kassie

    I keep nothing worth stealing in my car. I only lock it because I don’t want anyone sleeping in it. I rather not lock it since I don’t want someone breaking the window just to find there is nothing inside worth taking.

    The problem with taking valuables out of your car is that eventually everyone does it, so there are no easy thefts from cars. Then the people who need to steal start stealing from houses or mugging people. So I’m pro the rest of the people keeping their valuables in their cars.

  • Robert Moffitt

    Its been a tough week for WCCO staffers. First, Mike Binkley’s bike gets stolen, now DeRusha is the victim of theves.

  • andy

    It’s amazing the amount of stuff people leave in their car, ripe for the smash-and-grabbing. GPS’s, iProducts, wallets, etc. I see them all the time in parking garages and the streets.

    My little car happily has the world’s largest glove box, so if I do happen to have anything worth stealing, at least it’s not sitting out in the open.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Kassie – Did you really say “the people who need to steal”?!?

    To play along with your slippery slope argument, let’s replace “steal” with “rape” and “murder”.

    No, it’s not the same, and you might have meant to write “choose” rather than “need”, but you must agree that word choice is important, and indicates mind set.

    Unless of course it was written in jest. Then carry on. 🙂

  • Jason DeRusha

    I just wish the guy had better aim, and hadn’t missed the first time he threw the rock at my car, denting my front door. Or that he threw a little lighter, and didn’t put a huge gash into the interior of my passenger door.

    GPS: $100

    Broken Window: $240

    Body Damage: Priceless

  • Jef

    A friend of mine has a beater of a truck that has nothing of value side except some spare change. He never locks it. Every six weeks or so he finds the change is gone. Much cheaper to keep the change supply stocked than replace the window that someone smashed only to steal three dimes and a nickle.

  • James

    The only things visible in my car are the disconnected cables for my phone/GPS/mp3 player and a St. Christopher medal. So far, so good.

    A number of years ago, my car was broken into and the after market stereo was ripped from the dash. To add insult to injury, the thief went through my entire music collection (cassettes, to show how long ago it was) and left them all behind.

  • Kassie


    Mostly in jest. But there are people who need to steal. They are generally called drug addicts. Which is different than rapists or murderers. Usually.

    And if people didn’t steal stuff, what would happen to pawn shops? Think of all the jobs that would be lost.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Kassie – sorry for being an anal old editor, but drug addicts NEED to get drugs. I’ll even go so far as to say that society NEEDS to help drug addicts to heal rather than simply incarcerate them, for the good of both the addict and society, and that we NEED to legalize drugs to take them out of the alley and broken-into cars and put them into regulated distribution clinics.

    Converted pawn shops? 🙂

    But, based on some medical/psychiatric models, to say that drug addicts NEED to steal isn’t too far removed from saying that the sex addict needs to rape that woman, or the pedophile needs to abuse that child.

    All abhorrent and inexcusable actions arguably based on unhealthy, destructive, selfish physical and psychological NEEDS.

    I guess I’m an old fashioned free will, personal responsibility kinda guy, in spite of brain pathology arguments ( and evidence?) to the contrary.