‘It’s put us on edge’: Emerson resident concerned after recent string of burglaries in rural Nebraska

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EMERSON, Neb. (KCAU) – Northeast Nebraska law enforcement agencies are tracking a number of thefts in the area, with some folks now missing thousands of dollars worth of items.

Emerson resident Marie Paulsen recalls what it was like realizing her family’s power tools and new hunting bow were stolen.

“We were working on our house. Front window, putting a new window in. We had all our tools out. We think, we suspect that somebody went by and seen our tools, because that’s what they were targeting. My husband put them away, he is a very big avid hunter, and he had his hunting bow out as well and he got up very early in the morning. 7, 7:30, thought I’m going to go out and shoot and he went out there, his bow was gone and some of our tools were on the ground,” said Marie Paulsen.

Paulsen said the items stolen were expensive.

“My husband unfortunately just bought that bow and so, that bow was like $3,000 and total, we have lost about $5,000.”

According to multiple Northeast Nebraska police departments, more than 12 houses, garages, and sheds were broken into over the past two weeks. Power tools make up the majority of stolen items.

The Dakota County Sheriff’s Office has some advice to avoid falling victim.

“The criminals are always looking for the easiest target, so if your stuff’s locked up or out of sight or, you know, they’ll move on. And, you know, as far as serial numbers on your stuff, or take a picture of it. Write it down. Your insurance company will want it, but it’s very, it’s a lot easier for us if we know what the serial number is,” said Tom Decker, who’s with the Dakota County Sherriff’s Office.

For Paulsen, she said the sobering experience led to changes to ensure her family’s safety.

“We never thought we had to lock our doors here in this small town of Emerson, and so now we’ve installed a key, keyless entry to the garage and we do keep our doors locked now, which we didn’t in the past. We always felt comfortable here and now, it’s put us on edge,” said Paulsen.

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