About Osseo

Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention

The Osseo Police Department offers numerous publications, brochures and kid friendly projects on various crime prevention subjects available to the public at no cost. If you would like to know what information we have, or how to obtain information, please stop up to the Osseo Police Department or call us at 763.424.5444.

Safety Tips and Information

Please visit the below websites to obtain useful information to keep you and your family safe!

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
National Crime Prevention Council
National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Auto Theft Prevention

- More than 2/3 of all auto thefts occur at night.
- The average loss of missing parts on recovered vehicles is $5,880.00.
- It can take an expert auto thief as little as seven seconds and one screw driver to break into a vehicle.

What Attracts a Car Thief?
- Leaving your car unlocked or the windows down.
- Leaving your keys in the car or a spare key hidden in/on your car.
- Leaving your car unattended.
- Parking in poorly lit places with low visibility.
- Leaving valuables and packages in your car.
- Cars not protected with an anti-theft device.

How Can I Protect my Car?
- Do not leave your keys in your car.
- Close windows and lock your doors, regardless of how long you will be gone.
- Park in well lit areas.
- Keep your car in a garage if you have one.
- Park in lots that have attendants.
- Use a anti-theft devise.
- When parking your car, turn your wheels to the curb to make it more difficult for a thief to "tow" your car.
- Use your emergency brake when your park.
- Immediately report any suspicious activity to the police by dialing 911.

Thefts from Auto

Theft from auto is a crime that effects many people across the nation. Some of the most common items taken include: gym bags, brief cases, purses, sunglasses, radar detectors, cassette tapes/CD's, tools and camera gear. There are also a variety of methods used to enter the vehicle. These include: smashing a window, using a tool to unlock the vehicles doors, crawl through a pickup truck topper and force the sliding window open, enter the vehicle through an unsecured garage, or the vehicle is unlocked.

It is important that you take steps now, so that you can avoid being a victim. One important step is to make sure all valuables are OUT OF SIGHT. If a criminal cannot see anything worth stealing, it makes your vehicle less of a target. An even better strategy is to remove all valuables from the vehicle and bring them into your home.

Another deterrent, and probably the best, is to park your vehicle in the garage with the garage door closed and locked. If you must leave the vehicle in the driveway, think about putting a motion sensor light over the garage (towards the driveway). The light would activate when someone approaches your vehicle. This would hopefully scare the individual away and give you and your neighbors a chance to get a description of the individual.

Burglary Prevention

Each Year in the United States, there are more than five million home burglaries. Nine out of ten of these crimes are preventable. The risk of being burglarized can be greatly reduced by taking simple steps to make your home more difficult to enter and less enticing to would-be burglars. Remember, the greatest weapons in the fight to prevent burglaries are lighting, time and noise.

Below are some tips for making your home more secure.

House Numbers:

House numbers on our homes are important. They can save police, fire and paramedics valuable time. Make sure the house numbers are large enough to see from the street, are lit up and are not blocked by trees or other growth.


Privacy vs. Chain link. Burglars prey on privacy. Fences that allow activity to be seen in your yard are preferable to "privacy" fences.

Trees and Shrubbery:
Should be trimmed six inches below windows and at least three feet away from doors. Shrubbery such as rose bushes or other thorny varieties serve as good deterrent to criminal activity.

Landscape rock:
Large landscape rock (golf ball size or larger) can be used to damage your property. Small landscape rocks (smaller than golf ball size) are both decorative and, if someone walks on them, a person will be easily heard.

Locks / Strike Plates:

Deadbolt locks
The deadbolt lock has a bolt that must be activated by a key or thumb turn. It offers good security because it is not spring activated and cannot be opened with a credit card.

Single Cylinder Deadbolt:
The single cylinder deadbolt is activated with a key exterior side of the door and a thumb turn piece on the interior side. Install this lock where there is no breakable glass within 40 inches of them thumb turn piece. (Otherwise a burglar can break the glass, reach inside and turn the thumb piece).

Double Cylinder Deadbolt:
The double cylinder deadbolt is key activated on both sides of the door. It should be installed where there is no glass within 40 inches of the lock. Double cylinder locks can hinder escape from a burning house, so always leave a key in or near the lock when someone is home. (Double cylinder deadbolt locks can only be permitted in existing single-family homes, town homes and first floor duplexes used exclusively as residential dwellings)

Window Locks:

Auxiliary Locks:
Pin your windows or add an auxiliary lock to double hung windows. This type of mechanism will allow you to secure your window when you open it (five inches or less) for ventilation. Newer windows have higher quality locks while older double hung windows are easily jimmied or pried open.

On-Line Safety

Securing your personal computer plays a crucial role in protecting our nations Internet infrastructure. The website listed below is designed to give you the information needed to secure your home or small business computer. You will find tips on how to safeguard your system, a self-guided security test, educational materials, and other Internet resources, as well as valuable information from our sponsor organizations.

Security Tips:
- Use protection software, also known as "anti-virus software" and keep it up to date.
- Don't open e-mail from unknown sources or people.
- Use hard to guess passwords, incorporating numbers, letters, and symbols if possible.
- Protect your computer from Internet intruders by using a "firewall", which comes installed on most computer operating systems.
- Do not share access to your computers with strangers. Learn about file sharing risks.
- Disconnect from the Internet when not in use.
- Back up your computer data. Regularly download security protection update "patches."
- Check your security on a regular basis. When you change your clocks for day-light savings time, re-evaluate your company or home computer security.
- Make sure your family members and/or your employees know what to do if your computer becomes infected.

This information was provided by the National Cyber Safety Alliance. For more information regarding Internet safety please visit these websites:

A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety

Online Safety Resources from the BBB

E-Mail Frauds
The U.S. Secret Service calls these scams the "419 Advanced Fee Schemes" after the Nigerian Penal code fraud section. If you have been victimized by one of these schemes, please forward appropriate written documentation to the United States Secret Service, Financial Crimes Division, 950 H Street NW, Washington D.C. 20223, or call (202)406-5850. If you received a letter, but have not lost any monies to this scheme, please fax a copy of that letter to (202)406-5031.

These e-mail fraud schemes rely on your greed or financial desperation to hook you and draw you in. DO NOT fall for it. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is! 

Personal Safety at Home

Most of us think about our personal safety when we leave our homes. We take precautions when we go for a walk or are traveling. But it is equally important to think about our personal safety while at home. Below are listed some precautions you can take to be safer in your home:

- Be aware of your neighbors; know who is coming and going, who belongs and who does not belong.
- Make sure entrances and garages are well lit.
- Keep the exterior doors of your home locked.
- When repair people, meter readers, and sales people come to your door, check their identification and do not be afraid to call their office or the Police to check them out.
- Always close and lock your garage.
- Do not leave notes on your doors because they advertise your absence.
- If you return home and suspect your home has been broken into, do not go inside. Instead go someplace safe and dial 911.
- Use only your first initial and full last name in the phone book and on your mailbox.
- Take an active interest in your neighborhood. Form a neighborhood crime watch and help watch out for each other.

Telemarketing Fraud

While there are many legitimate companies that use the telephone for marketing, consumers and business lose millions of dollars to telemarketing fraud each year. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between reputable telemarketers and criminals who use the phone to rob people. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the danger signs of fraud. If you are a victim or attempted victim of telemarketing fraud, it's important to report the scam quickly so that law enforcement agencies can shut the fraudulent operation down. 

Here are some tips to prevent and report telemarketing fraud:

- Be careful if the telemarketer tells you an investment, purchase, or charitable donation must be made immediately.
- Be extremely careful when giving out your credit card number over the phone.
- Ask for printed information be sent to you concerning the sales item and company.
- Never make purchases under pressure. Make sure you are in control, and do not let the person calling you "bully" you into a purchase.
- Get the name and number of the person calling you and return number you can call if you have questions.
- Check with your local and state consumer protection agencies and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for information on the organization.
- Be wary of offers for free merchandise and prizes. You may end up paying handling fees greater than the value of the gift.
- Be aware of 900 numbers. If you call them, there is a fee.