County Attorney Pete Orput is committed to building stronger and safer communities by providing crime prevention and safety information to our citizens. The Washington County Attorney's office offers presentations for youth, adults, businesses, community and church groups addressing issues such as preventing identity theft, fraud, elder abuse, internet predators and scammers, drugs, firearm safety, domestic violence and other issues that affect our communities. Our office also works in partnership with schools, offering educational programs which address the social, legal and safety issues facing schools, students and families.
The County Attorney's office collaborates with businesses and various community groups in order to identify and develop programs that are focused on preventing crime that affect all of our citizens.
Our office also reaches out with information to prevent our citizens from being crime victims or in those unfortunate cases where citizens have become victimized, we discuss how to access restitution and other victim services that are available. The County Attorney also places a special emphasis on keeping our schools free of violence and drugs, while promoting a safe and healthy school climate that addresses bullying, truancy and other issues that affect our kids and families.
All of our presentations are free and are available for your neighborhood, community, church, business or other groups. Please contact Cathy Rochel at WCA@co.washington.mn.us or 651-430-6115 or schedule a presentation with Pete Orput or one of his prosecutors.
Download the full Auto Theft Prevention and Awareness brochure.
Did you know?
In the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 33 seconds!
The number one reason for motor vehicle theft is keys left in the car!
You can help prevent auto theft!
Top 5 Auto Theft Prevention Tips
- Always take your keys
- Always lock your car
- Remove/Conceal Valuables
- Never leave your car running
- Use a security system
Is your vehicle at risk?
Ten Most Stolen Vehicles in Minnesota
- Honda Accord 1996
- Honda Civic 1997
- Chevrolet Pickup (full size) 1999
- Ford Pickup (full size) 1997
- Toyota Camry 1995
- Acura Integra 1994
- Dodge Caravan 2000
- Ford Taurus 1999
- Chevrolet Pickup (small size) 1998
- Chevrolet Impala 2000
Download the full Burglary Prevention brochure.
The problem: According to the FBI a burglary occurs in the U.S. every 15.4 seconds. Most burglaries occur during the summer months during the day. The average burglar spends no more than 4-5 minutes to break in.
Where they get in/How to secure it
- Secure doors with quality locks and use heavy duty 5 screw strike plates so they cannot be kicked in.
- Have a peephole in the door so you can ID visitors.
- Consider alarms with identifying stickers to discourage burglaries.
Windows and sliding glass doors
- Lock windows and have secondary blocking device to prevent sliding them open (some use a wooden pole).
- Never leave your garage door open for extended periods of time. Criminals can identify objects worth stealing. It can give access to the home if attached. It is a common entry point. Be sure to lock your home. Don't rely on your automatic door for security.
How to reduce your risk of being targeted
- Have exterior lights and motion detectors.
- Make sure your landscape doesn't provide bushes and trees to cover the burglar hiding. If you do have bushes by your windows consider bushes that have sharp prickles or keep them trimmed so burglars can't hide.
- Have alarm stickers posted on doors and in front of the home.
- Hide the garage door opener in your car because it can be stolen and access can be gained at a later time.
- When on vacation stop the mail and newspaper and have your lawn mowed or sidewalk shoveled. If requested, some police departments will patrol more often.
- Never leave notes on your door outside to alert criminals you are gone.
- Never leave ladders outside to allow a burglar to reach your second story.
- Consider having a radio playing and timed lights if you are gone.
- Burglars go to typical places in the home for valuables (in the drawer in the bedroom). Consider putting some "seed money" so the burglars think they were successful but put your valuables in your child's room or use a safety deposit box at the bank.
- Dogs - even small ones - create disturbances that burglars want to avoid.
- Keep your guns locked up. Guns are the #1 valuable that burglars want because they are easily sold to other criminals.
- Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you are on vacation.
- BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR AND CALL THE POLICE IF YOU SEE ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.
Download the full Senior Safety Tips brochure.
The problem: Most seniors have worked hard to save for retirement. They own their home and have excellent credit. Crooks and miscreants learned quickly that seniors also make good targets: some victims are embarrassed to report that they’ve been swindled. Others simply don’t know who to call when they’ve been victimized.
Any phone call you receive with an offer that's too good to be true is too good to be true! "Unbelievable deals," "amazing prize offers" and other hyped pitches requiring you to act now are very likely to be a sham. Consider hanging up the phone immediately. Make sure your phone has caller ID and don't take any calls from numbers you do not recognize or unidentified callers. Always ask for written materials about any prize or vacation you've won.
Any phone call you receive with an offer that’s too good to be true is too good to be true! “Unbelievable deals,” “amazing prize offers” and other hyped pitches requiring you to act now are very likely to be a sham. Consider hanging up the phone immediately. Make sure your phone has caller ID and don’t take any calls from numbers you do not recognize or unidentified callers. Always ask for written materials about any prize or vacation you’ve won.