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Christmas presents among items stolen in burglary

WORTHINGTON -- When Shirley Frisch got out of bed and walked downstairs Tuesday morning, things didn't seem normal. She noticed unusual wet spots on her linoleum floor, partly open doors that are never left ajar and a bright light that's never le...

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Shirley Frisch's Christmas tree is empty after burglars stole presents she was going to give to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Karl Evers-Hillstrom / Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - When Shirley Frisch got out of bed and walked downstairs Tuesday morning, things didn’t seem normal. She noticed unusual wet spots on her linoleum floor, partly open doors that are never left ajar and a bright light that’s never left on.

“Then I noticed everything was gone,” Frisch said.

Her house was broken into while she was sleeping. Gone from under the Christmas tree were six wrapped gifts meant for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her cupboard’s doors were open and her silver coffee server - a gift she received after her husband died - was missing.

In addition, the burglars took a phone and cash from her purse, wine glasses, two greeting cards with money in them, a TV and an empty champagne bottle. They began to take off with a hanging lamp, but ended up leaving it, breaking parts of it in the process.

Frisch was surprised they were able move around the house without making much noise.

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“I was just shocked,” Frisch said. “How could that be? I was just upstairs, how didn’t I hear?”

The burglars quietly broke in through the garage door by picking the lock. They opened her car’s trunk before snooping through the rest of the house. They left every door slightly open while looking through rooms on the ground floor. Police found two sets of tracks coming from the garage door.

Frisch has a deadbolt on her garage door but usually does not use it, which allowed the burglars to gain entry.

“I have deadbolts, but I didn’t use them,” Frisch said. “I will now.”

Her son, Doug Frisch, wanted every community member to learn a lesson from the burglary.

“If you have deadbolts, use them,” Frisch said. “Be aware and lock your house up. We wanted people to know how this happened if it’ll help anyone else.”

All in all, Frisch was content in that things could have been worse. She wasn’t harmed during the break-in, there wasn’t much damage to her home and her credit cards were left behind.

Her goal now is to replace the presents before Christmas, although she hopes the police are able to find the culprit.

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“Hopefully they’ll find my presents,” she said.

Worthington Police Department Capt. Kevin Flynn said there have been a few recent break-ins to cars and mentioned a slew of burglaries and break-ins occurring in Luverne the past few weeks.  

“We have had information that similar things were taking place in Luverne,” Flynn said. “This leads one to believe it might have a connection with someone going through the area, but we have no confirmation on that.”

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office searched the residence of Michael James Arntson, Jr. at 603 1/2 N. Kniss Ave., in Luverne on Nov. 30. They found shoes that matched footprint images at burglaries, burglary tools and stolen items, but have not made a criminal complaint.

In Worthington, the break-in of Frisch’s house was one of two burglaries reported Tuesday on Douglas Avenue. Also reported Tuesday was an attempted burglary on 10th Street, theft of Christmas lights on Dover Street and a stolen package on Darling Drive.

“We're asking people to keep their vehicles locked and their properties secured,” Flynn said.

  

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Shirley Frisch's silver coffee server — a gift she received after her husband died — was stolen Tuesday during a morning burglary. Karl Evers-Hillstrom / Daily Globe

Related Topics: CRIMEBURGLARY
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