Mar-Mac Police offer protection advice following string of McGregor thefts

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The Mar-Mac Police Department is offering advice on how McGregor and Marquette residents and business owners can protect their property following a string of burglaries and thefts in McGregor over the past month.

 

According to a statement from Mar-Mac Police Chief Robert Millin, the suspect(s) was/were able to gain access to multiple businesses during their closed hours or committed theft with employees present. The release did not state how many, or which, businesses were affected.

 

Through the assistance of a private security camera and a business security camera, police were able to identify the suspect(s) involved in an early October break-in and acquired a confession to the crime, Millin said. 

 

“A criminal complaint has been filed with juvenile court accusing the individual(s) of burglary and criminal mischief. The unfortunate facts involving this case is that we were only able to obtain evidence that this individual(s) committed an act of burglary during one specific incident even though the same business was burglarized multiple times,” he added. “Moving forward, we are actively investigating a recent burglary to another business on Main Street. This occurred over the last several days. We will continue to follow up with any information that is provided to the police department.”

 

Millin stressed the importance of contacting law enforcement immediately once a crime has been detected.

 

“During one of the investigations, it was determined, as a business was actively being burglarized, the business representative contacted a close associate to confront or investigate the suspect(s)...instead of reporting the burglary to the police department. It was also discovered, as the acquaintance was approaching the business to investigate, a police department patrol vehicle was driving past the business at the exact same time. If the police department was immediately notified of the burglary, instead of the associate, that case could have been immediately solved,” he said. “During other investigations, we learned that one business was burglarized as least three times prior to calling the police department, and another property had a security camera system, but it was outdated and inoperable at the time of the theft.”

 

Millin said the agency does its best to deter criminal activity, randomly conducting foot and vehicular patrols and business checks when time permits. However, depending on the volume of calls for service and staffing, this service is not always available. 

 

Community members are the best deterrent, he noted.

 

“We are saying that you, and us as a community, need to be a deterrent, proactive, responsible and vigilant to our own safety as individuals and to our livelihood as property owners and local business owners/representatives,” the statement read. “You are the one who worked for everything you have earned. You are the one that had to make sacrifices to be successful. You are the one that can protect your life’s accomplishments.”

 

According to Millin, security camera systems are the best option. He said more cameras are better, particularly with a 30-day storage capacity. Cloud storage is advised. 

 

“There are inexpensive system options available online and in-store. Although we cannot provide recommendations, we are more than happy to provide ideas on the placement of cameras and their assorted options,” he said.

 

Activate security and alarm systems, even if inconvenient. Burglars will often not be deterred by a window sticker or sign indicating the home has an alarm system, Millin said. Adequate exterior lighting, including a motion-sensitive light, is also recommended.

 

Other suggestions include making property difficult to break into by locking all outside doors and windows before leaving and keeping garage/storage doors closed and locked. Check door/window locks and replace with secure devices; dead bolt locks are advised on all outside doors. Sliding glass doors are vulnerable. Keep a detailed list of valuable possessions and store property out of sight. 

 

Don’t share vacation plans on social media. If you’re going to be away for an extended time, stop mail delivery—or have the post office or a friend or neighbor assist—and arrange to have your lawn mowed. Contact the department and complete an extra patrol request at www.marmacpolice.org/extra-patrol-request/.

 

“The culture of small-town hospitality is difficult. Most small communities strongly believe that crime ‘doesn’t happen here’ or ‘that only happens in big cities,’” Millin said. “The real fact is that crime does occur in Marquette and McGregor, and it does happen every day. It is not a matter of ‘if it will happen,’ it’s a matter of ‘when will it happen.’” 

 

Millin stated the department is empathetic to businesses or individuals who have fallen victim to property thefts.

 

“We will do our best to solve these crimes. However, our investigation is only as effective as your deterrence to these crimes,” he explained. “Could we solve property crimes without a security system or property information? Yes. However, having the availability of the security system or documented property information allows us to effectively investigate the crime rather than ineffectively conduct the same investigation with no known information.”

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