When Debra Mikol woke up the morning of May 31 and saw the contents of her purse spread across a table in her family’s sunroom, she thought that one of her three teenage children might have been looking for some spending money.
It turns out Mikol’s home in the Settler’s Ridge neighborhood in southwest Eden Prairie was one of several homes in the vicinity burglarized in the early morning hours the day after Memorial Day.
Police: Suspect identified, charges expected
According to a June 8 Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD) statement, the department, working with several Twin Cities police departments, has identified at least one suspect, and charges are expected to be presented soon to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
“Officers responded to eight residential burglaries, attempted burglaries, auto tampering and suspicious incidents in the area of Frontier Place, Acorn Ridge, Overland Trail and Cedarcrest Drive the morning of May 31,” the statement said.
“In some instances, the homes were occupied by residents at the time of the burglaries,” the statement continued. Suspects entered homes and vehicles through unlocked doors, it said.
“There were no injuries, and no weapons were involved,” according to police. “The suspects did not have any contact with residents of the homes.”
‘We are being much more vigilant’
It didn’t take Mikol long to think twice about her children’s involvement.
“I’m like, ‘Why would they spread my stuff all over the table?’” she said in a phone interview with EPLN.
Then she noticed her cash was missing. She woke her children up, and one-by-one they denied taking any money.
Shortly afterward, she logged onto her neighborhood’s Facebook group and saw footage from one of her neighbor’s Ring cameras showing someone getting out of a car nearby around 3 a.m.
The videos show an individual moving down the street through backyards, checking doors, Mikol said.
“I said, ‘Oh my gosh, did someone break in?’ and my husband was scoffing, ‘No, no, no, no,’” she said.
But as they took inventory of their home, her daughter realized that her school laptop wasn’t where she had left it the previous night. They found it in an office where Debra’s purse had been.
“So, we’re thinking that the person entered through the back deck door, saw the laptop, started to move to the front of the house, (took) the purse and left the laptop on the (office) desk,” she said.
One of her children realized that some cash was missing from her wallet, as well.
The perpetrator didn’t take any credit cards or computers that were in plain view, only cash amounting to less than $200, Mikol said.
The family’s two large dogs were sleeping in the Mikol’s bedroom with a fan and an air purifier running. “I think that they masked any sounds and the dogs didn’t hear anything,” she said. “They obviously were quiet and didn’t make a lot of noise.”
In retrospect, Mikol is glad the dogs didn’t hear anything.
“Who knows what would have happened?” she said.
Mikol acknowledged that the deck door had been unlocked. “Obviously, we are being much more vigilant about locking doors and we are upgrading our own security in our home at this point,” she said.
“I’m just grateful that nobody was hurt.”