Crime on the increase

Sasha Leibold, News Writer

On Wednesday Oct. 10, a UND student Alyssa Maesse was a victim of a robbery at Ganesha Yoga. Alyssa was attending a yoga session when she realized that someone had gone through her purse and stole her wallet.

“My heart just sank,” Maesse said.

Alyssa was not the only one who was a victim. Two other girls who attend Ganesha regularly had their keys stolen and cars gone through. When the robbers couldn’t find a wallet in one of the cars, they tossed the keys to the side. However, there were able to find a wallet in one of the vehicles.

The police were called right away and learned that Haute Yogis in Grand Forks and Fargo were robbed as well. Alyssa canceled all her cards only to find out that the robbers had spent $2,200 on her credit card.

“My first thought was like if I feel this violated and scared about losing a wallet, then I can’t imagine what other victims feel like,” Maesse said. “This is literally the worst feeling knowing they have MY information and used MY money.”

Robberies have gone up 33 percent since 2017. This does not include the percentage of other crimes that have happened this year. Although the police don’t know exactly who did this, they do have a good feeling that they can catch them. Thanks to Alyssa who talked with Wells Fargo about the incident, the police now know the exact time that they were at the stores and the exact transaction. They have multiple surveillance videos already, all they have to do is identify the suspects. They believe the robbers might be three girls who attend yoga regularly and know the class schedules. They took about $100,000 worth of stuff from all three locations, including stolen credit cards and miscellaneous stuff.

“They probably threw away everything that wasn’t useful to them, but now is going to cost me money to replace,” Maesse said. “Some people have a total lack of respect for someone’s stuff”

Each incident that happened in Grand Forks and Fargo will be under active investigation.

“We likely won’t be releasing details of this one at this time for investigatory reasons,” Police Lt. Derik Zimmel said.

As Grand Forks continues to grow in size, the police department is focused on protecting the community. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and the type of situations you could possibly be in no matter where you are.

“I literally hope no one experiences something like this, it’s the worst feeling ever,” Maesse said.

Crime in Grand Forks has been on the rise over the past ten years. The forefront of the increase being drug crimes. In 2017 there was 570 reported drug crimes, a large increase from 80 reported in 2016. There was also a rise in burglary and theft which doubled and increased by 54 percent. More alarmingly was the fact that assault has also been on the rise.  Grand Forks Police Department is made up of 88 sworn officers and 15 civilian staff. In 2018 they have handled an average of 3,500 calls a month, which range from welfare checks to burglary and theft. The Grand Forks Police Department is committed to the reduction of crime in the community and provides resources to community members to increase awareness. The GFPD has different outreach programs that include events with public speakers, school resource officers and a citizens academy.

With the increase in awareness, the community can lead towards a decrease in crime.