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Lock it or Lose it!

In Fargo, we are fortunate to have low numbers of violent crimes, such as gross sexual imposition, robbery and aggravated assault. Unfortunately, we do experience a significant number of property crimes, including burglary, theft from vehicle and vehicle theft.  The following is an explanation of our most prevalent property crimes and some tips on how you can help us reduce these crimes.


The majority of burglaries involve thefts from garages. Suspects will enter garages that may not be locked and take personal property.

Theft from Vehicle

These crimes involve suspects taking personal property out of cars. Sometimes the cars are locked, and the windows get broken during the theft. Many times, the cars are left unlocked. A common trait in most of these crimes involves victims leaving valuables in plain view. Examples would be CD cases, cell phones, purses, wallets, tools, etc.   

Vehicle Theft

These crimes involve stolen cars or motorcycles. We do not have sophisticated car thieves in Fargo.  The majority of these crimes involve victims leaving their keys in the car, sometimes leaving cars idling to warm up in the winter, and suspects taking the car for temporary transportation. Some thefts involve people who know each other and have borrowed a car, but failed to return it.  We traditionally recover almost all stolen vehicles.

All Other Theft

This includes stolen checkbooks, bicycles, purses, lawn ornaments, etc.  This is a broad category of theft.

The Connection

The majority of the crimes mentioned above were crimes of opportunity, meaning a victim left property easily available for the thief. Suspects may go out for a walk or ride a bike to identify potential targets, then return later to steal the property. The best defense against these types of crimes is basic crime prevention. When citizens secure their property and take basic crime prevention steps, we see a tremendous effect on reducing crime in an area. 

These types of crimes take only seconds or minutes for the thief to commit and are very difficult for officers to catch in progress. A consistent message we give to citizens and neighborhood associations is to take proper crime prevention steps and look out for each other. By getting to know each other, it becomes easier to identify people who are out of place in your neighborhood. A little added attention to these people usually encourages them to leave the area because the theft targets become more difficult. 

You are the key to help us combat crime. Keep these tips in mind to protect your valuables:

  • Always keep your vehicle locked.
  • Remove valuable items from your car, such as purses, wallets and radar detectors.
  • Always keep your car and garage locked, even during the day.
  • Don't leave valuable items such as bikes outside.
  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Join your neighborhood association.
  • Report suspicious activity to police immediately.