Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Tips from the Cook County Sheriff's Office on protecting yourself from burglary and home invasion

Sep 15, 2023 11:16AM ● By Editor

Photo: Scott Rodgerson

From the Cook County Sheriff's Office - September 15, 2023

Delaying a home invasion for four minutes is usually enough to prevent entry into a house or apartment. It is almost impossible to make a home "crime-proof", but it is easy to make entry difficult.

Home and garage doors should always be locked. Almost 50% of burglars enter homes and property through unlocked doors and windows. Use your locks.

Deadbolt locks provide good protection. Don't rely on chain locks, even ones with a key. An average-sized person pushing against a door can easily break most chain locks. Don't forget to have locks installed on screen doors and storm doors, as well as garage doors, cellar doors, patio doors, and any other doors that lead outside.

Never open the door to anyone you do not know without first verifying the person's identity.

Burglars look for sliding glass doors because they are easy to open. Bolster any existing locks by placing a solid strip of wood (such as a broom handle) in the track of the closed door.

Overgrown limbs, bushes, or landscaping could block a neighbor or passerby from observing a break-in. Keep in mind that when you install a high wooden fence, you are allowing criminals who slip into your property to work unobserved.

Criminals avoid the spotlight. Porches, yards, and all entrances to your home and garage should be well lighted.

Sheriff Pat Eliasen states, “If you see something out of place at your home or your neighborhood, call it in.”

  • Utilizing technology such as cameras, you can monitor your home from your smart phone. These cameras are easily installed and can be a great deterrent to a home invader.
  • Always lock up ladders and tools. Ask your neighbors to do the same. Don't give a burglar the resources to break into your home.
  • Use timer switches to turn on lights and a radio at appropriate times. It is an easy way to disguise the fact that you are not home.
  • Did you know that one of the best alarm systems is a good watchdog? Crooks don't like noise, and a barking dog may persuade a burglar to move on.
  • And, of course, the best crime prevention device around is a good neighbor. When neighbors band together, crime can be decreased.


About Cook County, MN 

Cook County encompasses the sovereign nation of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa; the City of Grand Marais; the Townships of Lutsen, Tofte and Schroeder; and unincorporated areas in the easternmost part of Minnesota’s North Shore. Cook County Government values transparency and strives to deliver superior services and programs in a fiscally responsible way. We value the dignity of all County residents and seek to create a community that provides opportunity for all. Many of our offices are in the Cook County Courthouse at 411 W 2nd St, Grand Marais 55604. Other departments and facilities, such as the Airport, Community Center, Highway and Sheriff are located nearby. Call 218-387-3000 or visit:  



Contact:  Sheriff Pat Eliasen, 218-387-3030 or [email protected]

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here