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Brittany Lawonn, Published June 23 2009

Police: Lock doors to prevent intruders

Local police periodically get a report of an intruder walking into an unlocked residence in the metro area, authorities say.

“They don’t break in, they just walk in,” Fargo Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

More often than not, it’s someone intoxicated and confused, thinking they are at home or at a friend’s residence, Lykken said, estimating such incidents happen about once every other weekend and more often during warm weather.

Residents should keep their doors locked to prevent uninvited guests, police suggest.

But if one does get inside, authorities recommend that residents try to persuade the person to leave and call police immediately for the resident’s safety and the safety of the intruder.

“If the person is so intoxicated they don’t know where they’re at, for that person’s safety we need to either get them home or to a medical facility or to the detox center,” Lykken said.

Saturday’s fatal shooting in Moorhead of 17-year-old Joel LaFromboise, who walked into at least three unlocked apartments before he was fatally shot by the occupant of one, was not the only home intrusion reported over the weekend.

A Moorhead woman called police Friday morning after she returned home to find a naked man sleeping in her bed.

A 2007 Fargo home intrusion also involved a gun. In the April incident, an apartment dweller, holding a handgun, confronted an intruder in his home. The intruder appeared to be intoxicated and left before later being arrested.

Most of the time the uninvited guest will leave without much persuasion, Lykken said.

That wasn’t the case on May 15, 2008, when a man walked into Karl Krueger’s mother’s house about

3 a.m. Krueger pushed the man out the door and the two scuffled, so he head-butted the intruder and got him on the ground in the front yard. A patrol car soon drove by and the man was arrested.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541