MONTEVIDEO - As part of an investigation into a series of burglaries involving large amounts of stolen property, the Montevideo Police Department is reaching out to the public for help in identifying the victims.
The burglaries all took place in recent weeks in Montevideo and surrounding areas. At least two homes were broken into and numerous items taken, including Christmas presents, according to Montevideo Police. There also were several thefts from vehicles and from garages.
The Police Department, Chippewa County Sheriff's Office and CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force executed a search warrant Jan. 3 at a house in the 100 block of Ninth Street South and recovered an enormous amount of stolen property that ranged from firearms and power tools to bikes, some of the stolen Christmas presents and numerous other items.
The Police Department said in a statement that the amount of stolen property found at the location was so large, they applied for a second search warrant, which also covered methamphetamine and marijuana found at the house.
The items seized have been linked to 10 new burglaries, a case involving a stolen motor vehicle, multiple thefts from motor vehicles and three burglaries in other jurisdictions, as well as numerous pending cases in which officers are waiting for victims to come forward and identify their belongings.
Three suspects were arrested on drug charges, Montevideo Police said. The main suspect in the thefts was already reportedly being held at the Chippewa County Jail for receiving stolen property.
The house where the search warrant was executed last week is the same location where a search warrant was executed Aug. 18 for stolen property. So much property was recovered that a trailer had to be brought to the scene to transport the items into safekeeping, according to the Police Department.
Authorities are still looking for the owners of all the suspected stolen property recovered in connection with the arrests last week. More than 30 photos have been posted on the Montevideo Police Department's Facebook page. They include electronics, tools, knives, fishing gear, at least one set of binoculars, shoes, clothing and backpacks.
The investigation is ongoing, according to the Police Department.
Anyone who has been a victim of a recent burglary in the area or knows someone who has been a victim is asked to contact their local law enforcement office. Proof of ownership is required before items can be released to their owners, Montevideo Police said.