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Mike Nowatzki, Published July 23 2009

Attempted burglary, other property crimes keep Fargo police busy

Fargo police responded to a rash of property crimes Wednesday, including an attempted burglary in which the suspect backed a stolen pickup through the rear door of the Teamsters union hall.

The suspect broke open three cash registers, but they were empty. Nothing appeared to be stolen during the incident, reported at 2:15 a.m. at 21 18th St. S., Sgt. Glen Hanson said.

The pickup buckled the wall on both sides of the door and took two handicapped-accessible bathrooms out of service, Teamsters Local No. 116 President Dean Cypher said.

“When I got here a little after 2, the pickup was still stuck in the building,” he said.

A total damage estimate was not available.

“When they were first looking at it, it was in excess of $40,000, but it’s probably going higher,” Cypher said.

The suspect was caught on surveillance video. He’s described as a 5-foot, 6-inch male weighing 160 pounds with very short hair and wearing a long, mid-thigh

T-shirt with a large logo on it, Hanson said.

The pickup’s owner didn’t know it was stolen until officers contacted him after the incident, Hanson said.

Officers were also dealing with another stolen car about the same time. A Nissan Maxima was reported stolen at 1:52 a.m. in the 400 block of Ninth Avenue North, and about 25 minutes later it crashed into a parked car in the 2800 block of 11th Street South. A witness said the driver got out of the stolen car and ran away, and police couldn’t find him, Hanson said.

At 3:16 a.m., officers responded to a report of a 40-car garage being broken into at Park East Apartments in the 100 block of Second Street South. Fifteen small wooden lockers in the garage were broken into, but it’s not known what was stolen, Sgt. Ross Renner said. A window was broken to gain access to the garage, he said. The incidents are not believed to be related, Hanson said.

He encouraged residents to lock their houses and cars and make sure garage doors are closed, and to report suspicious activity.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528