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The Carletonian

Burglary strikes Northfield businesses

Onturday, Jan. 20, around 8:30 p.m., three businesses in downtown Northfield were burglarized. Cash was stolen from Content Books and Northfield Yarn (owned by a Carleton graduate and parent, respectively), and nearby Larson’s Printing.

According to Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson, such crimes are rare in Northfield. Of the few burglaries that happen each year, “many (if not most) do not occur at businesses,” wrote Nelson in email correspondence.

“I know for a fact that this is the first break-in of our building in several decades,” said Sean Parish, manager of the building housing Content Books and Northfield Yarn. Parish described the incident as “surreal.”

“There was no sign of forced entry to our building so that has been somewhat disconcerting to us,” added Parish. Only sensors at Larson’s Printing were tripped, which helped police place a time to the crime.

“In all,” Parish said, “things could have been much worse and it has forced us to bolster our security.”

Cynthia Gilbertson P’20, owner of Northfield Yarn, agreed.

“Our cash drawer was found in the basement smashed open,” she said. “It’s an expensive item… but I’m really thankful that no inventory or equipment was damaged.”

The incident has led business owners to reconsider their security measures.

“I had thought that a locked cash drawer was sufficient protection, but I’ve now learned that a motivated person can open a locked drawer without a key,” said Gilbertson. Gilbertson, Parish and nearby business owners are in conversation about increasing the building’s security. Parish urges other business owners and residents to “make sure your property is as secure as possible.”

“It’s a shame that someone was so desperate for cash that he or she broke in to small, neighborhood businesses,” said Gilbertson. “But I understand that it can happen anywhere.”

Residents of the downtown area, according to Jessica Peterson White ’98, owner of Content Books, have been “very kind and supportive” after the burglary.

“One person even suggested that if we put out a call our customers would help us purchase a new cash drawer,” said Gilbertson. “I honestly don’t doubt that they would help us out in that way. Our customers are the best!”

Parish is thankful for Northfield Police Sergeant Thad Monroe’s work on the case, whom Parish said “took the time to educate me on a couple of suboptimal security issues in our building and how to fix them.”

“I do want to urge other building and business owners to look at their own security issues and make sure your property is as secure as possible,” he added.

An investigation into the burglary is ongoing, and Northfield Police urges anyone who may have seen something suspicious at the time of the crime to reach out.

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