- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Authorities are rounding up suspects in what they’re calling a burglary ring that’s responsible for the theft of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of vehicles, TVs and other items in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

“It seems to be almost a full-time job for these people to go steal things,” Sgt. Jason Gearman of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office said. “It would be a huge relief to have them stopped.”

Police believe at least six or seven people are involved in the burglaries and are selling the stolen items or trading them for drugs.

Three suspects have been arrested so far, with the latest arrest coming Tuesday night in Sioux Falls, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/1t3yXad ) reported. Authorities had offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the suspect, who was considered armed and dangerous.

Authorities recovered some property, including a Jeep, guns and drugs, which were found in a storage unit near the South Dakota town of Crooks after a 12-hour stakeout in mid-May. More stolen items were recovered last weekend in a trailer in Lennox.

“People are getting their vehicles stolen, they’re getting burned up, their four-wheelers stolen,” Gearman said. “They’re breaking into houses and stealing TVs, you name it, whatever they can take.”

Gearman acknowledged that some burglary victims may be frustrated with the slowness of the investigation, but he said the department is working hard to catch the burglars.

“If they reported (an item) stolen, eventually we will get to it and contact them,” Gearman said of the victims. “We want to put these people where they can’t take anything anymore. That’s what we’re focusing on right now.”

Gearman encouraged anyone with information to contact authorities and reminded the public to take precautions against burglars.

“There’s people out there that know more than they’re saying,” he said. “Lock your doors, lock your house, it makes it harder for them to get in.”

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