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Chief's Corner

Assistant Chief Mike Reitan

The West Fargo Police Department investigated a number of embezzlement cases during the month where significant amounts of money are reported to be missing. Embezzlement is defined as the act of taking property for the purpose of converting it to personal use by a person who has been entrusted to hold or use that property for a specific purpose on behalf of the owner. The person taking the property typically uses some method to conceal the theft and the thefts take place over a period of time. The delayed discovery and extended period of time during which the theft occurs result in complicated and a protracted police investigation. Forensic financial experts are often employed to assist in examining the records to determine the full extent of the theft.

Criminal investigations cases in September as they compare to August follow. A number appearing in [brackets] will indicate the number of incidents reported in the previous month's article.

During September, officers investigated 19 [16] cases involving the theft of property; three [2] cases of shoplifting; nine [3] cases of theft from a motor vehicle; and six [5] motor vehicle thefts. Six [6] fraud offenses were reported to have occurred. There were a total of 18 [11] burglaries: ten [4] with non-forced entry to a home; five [5] with forced entry to a home or attached garage; three [0] forced entry to a construction site. Two [2] cases involving embezzlement were investigated.

One [3] case involving sexual assault were investigated in September. Fourteen [9] domestic violence related incidents were investigated last month. In 13 [7] of the cases a person was charged with simple assault and one [2] with aggravated assault. Six [5] additional simple assault cases, three [1] aggravated assault and five [4] terrorizing cases were investigated where the suspect and the victim did not have a domestic relationship. Two [2] weapons violations were reported to have occurred with two [2] of the incidents involved the carry of a concealed weapon. Of the concealed carry violations, one [2] of the cases involved a person also charged with a drug possession offense. Zero [1] robbery were reported to have occurred.

Nineteen [21] drivers were arrested for the offense of driving under the influence during September. Forty-eight [37] drug related charges were filed in September. Twenty-eight [17] of the drug charges related to a person being found in possession of drugs and 20 [19] charges involved drug paraphernalia. Drugs that were recovered in September included marijuana 11 [9] times; schedule medications nine [2]; methamphetamine eight [6] times. Five [3] cases involved the charge of delivery.

If you see suspicious activity or what you believe to be a violation of the law occurring in your neighborhood please make sure to contact your local law enforcement agency. The West Fargo Police Department can be reached at (701) 433-5500. If it is an emergency call 911.

Crime prevention is a community effort.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

(701) 241-5530