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Sheriff's Office meets with public to address crime wave

Burglaries and thefts are becoming an epidemic in Douglas County. Sheriff Tom Dalbec estimated that the Douglas County Sheriff's Office receives about two burglary or theft reports a day.

"And those are the ones reported," he said.

The thieves are making off with traditional targets like electronics and copper, plus a whole lot more.

"They're taking everything -- food, bed linens, chainsaws, laptops, whatever they can get their hands on," Dalbec said.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office holds a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Northwood School auditorium in Minong to address the recent crime wave in southern Douglas and northern Washburn counties.

The meeting is being held "because it's been going on, it's widespread down there and there are a lot of people who have concerns and questions," Dalbec said. All residents are encouraged to attend, whether they've been victims of property crime or not. The event allows officers to meet with residents, let them know what's going on and ask for their help in reporting suspicious vehicles and activities.

At the same time, the sheriff said, the meeting is a way for residents to meet and get to know their neighbors.

Although the Douglas County Sheriff's Office has sent officers out to speak to town and village boards, this will mark the first community meeting held by the department.

"We want to get victims and non-victims together and get good information out to everybody," Dalbec said.