A rash of burglaries in the area have unnerved residents of this usually peaceful and relatively crime free neighborhood in the North End. On October 1, neighbors came together for the first meeting of a new block club, and the meeting focused on concerns about the burglaries.
According to Rice Street beat officer Steve Lentsch, there is no one method of operation in these burglaries. The home burglaries have taken place night and day, sometimes with forced entry, other times through unsecured doors. During some of the burglaries residents were at home, other homes were robbed while the occupants were away. Officer Lentsch emphasized the importance of neighbors knowing neighbors and sharing information with one another.
Neighbors meeting at the North Dale Community Recreation Center on October 1 agreed on boundaries for the new block club, which incorporate an existing block club into the new one. They agreed to take the name of that existing block club, the Top of the Hill Club, and to meet again on November 5.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My husband and I attended the first meeting of a new block club. We live in a relatively quiet part of the North End neighborhood. Both of us have been quite involved in various planning and projects over the years in our community, but we have never had a block club in our part of the neighborhood before. Neighbors we had never met came to the meeting at the North Dale Community Recreation Center.
Mary Thoemke, a lifelong resident of Saint Paul, is a free lance writer for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.