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Increased Looting In Tornado-Damaged Minneapolis

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – Police say there’s been an increase in burglaries in north Minneapolis since Sunday’s deadly tornado, with thieves kicking in doors and using trucks to load up stolen items.

Police announced a tornado aftermath plan Wednesday that includes increased patrols in the area. Those patrols will provide directions and escorts for city staff, work crews and emergency responders. Police say the patrols will deter crime.

Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-St. Paul, says while some homes are almost unlivable, residents won’t leave because they’re afraid looters will take their belongings. Police Sgt. Stephen McCarty says if that’s the case, he would suggest having neighbors keep watch over each other’s homes.

“There have been reports of people actually staying out with their possessions as they are exposed to the elements and guarding them that way,” McCarty said.

McCarty said individuals who are loitering in the area will be encouraged to leave if they don’t have a legitimate reason for being there.

Police are also advising residents to watch for home repair scams. Although none have been reported, scam artists generally take advantage of disaster situations.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

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