Red River burglaries spur action by Marshal’s office

Red River Marshal David Smith offers business owners and residents advice on how to prevent burglaries during a meeting at the Town Fire Station today. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Three burglaries in the part three weeks mean the marshal’s office, along with Red River residents and business owners, needs to be especially vigilant, Red River Marshal David Smith said during a public information meeting at the Fire Station in Red River today.

In addition to the June 11 robbery at the Dairy Bar fast-food restaurant, someone broke into Bull O’ The Woods Saloon Monday (July 2) and stole a small ATM.

According to a report provided by Smith to The Chronicle, “They made entry into a side door and were able to move about the interior of the bar. Security video shows it to be a white or Hispanic male, approximately 5’10” and slight build.”

Another burglary happened either late on July 4 or early July 5 when someone broke into Climates retail store and stole “a large sum of money” from the safe.

“Police are not releasing the details of the video from that break in,” Smith wrote. “Police have questioned several individuals and are following up on all tips that come in. We encourage anyone with information that may lead to the arrest and/or conviction of the person or persons responsible to please come forward. A reward is being offered and all tips are considered confidential.”

Smith went on to share proactive steps from a handout he hoped would protect businesses and noted his office will be increasing its patrols “spending late night hours walking around, checking businesses…” as well as “basic undercover stuff.”

The town will also look into other security measures such as adding additional web-cams in town. The rest, Smith said, is up to business owners.

A few key steps include adding indoor and outdoor lighting, solid doors (as opposed to hollow doors, which are easy to break into), improving visibility of the store’s interior by leaving windows clear of merchandise, landscaping or posters, and adding security cameras and/or alarms.

“It’s going to be up to each business owner, each home owner, how much money do you spend?” Smith said. “These are things we can do to make ourselves a harder target.
Criminals are lazy by nature. They don’t want to do a lot to make themselves more likely to get caught.”

Smith advised business owners to look at their businesses from a different point of view. “You have to start thinking, what do I have in here that is valuable? [The burglar or burglars] gain insight by posing as a client or a customer but don’t just always think, ‘it’s a customer of mine.’ It could be someone you paid. Pay attention to who you’ve had issues with recently. If somebody’s giving you the creeps, pay attention to that. Pay attention to your employees, pay attention to who you’ve fired. They’re watching you. They’re watching me and my guys.”

Smith said he or one of his deputies would be happy to assess business and offer advice. A business’ insurance company could do the same, Smith said, “’cause they’re invested in you.”

“Really, of all the things we’ve talked about today, lighting and a good alarm system are the things I would recommend. Spend money on a quality system.”

A good safe is also useful, though Smith noted, “Unfortunately, one of the recent ones had a good quality safe but the burglars had time.”

“If it were me, I would have at least one camera outside on the street that shows the approach to your business. If I had a good shot of license plate, then we have something to go on. I would also have at least one camera that nobody knows about but me. Never even mention it.There are tiny cameras that have amazing field of view, amazing clarity.”

Smith’s final tip? “If you see something, say something. We’ve got to do this as a community. I hope the word gets out that Red River’s not fooling around.”

Burglary Prevention