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Residents urged to lock doors and keep a look-out

No new incidents of home intrusion like the two recently reported in Hudson and River Falls have been reported to the Hudson Police Department in the last two weeks.

According to Sgt. Ed Rankin, while the department has received numerous calls from residents who have found footprints in the snow outside their homes or have reported seeing something suspicious in their neighborhoods, they have no new information about the man who was found standing over a teenage girl in her bed at her White Pine Road home on Feb. 21 around 4 a.m. A similar incident was reported by a woman in River Falls just two days before the incident in Hudson. The police department has alerted other area police departments of the two incidents but they have not received any similar reports.

Rankin said the department is looking into whether the most recent incidents are tied to reports last fall of a man with a pillowcase over his head exposing himself to passersby.

"They don't appear to be related but we always look. We know that sometimes behavior that begins with something like the pillowcase guy escalates into more bold activity like the home intrusions so it is something to consider," said Rankin.

According to Rankin, a couple of similar incidents were reported to the Ellsworth police two or three years ago but none have been reported there since.

Rankin said that the attention the case has gotten in the media may have stopped the intruder for now. "It appears that it stopped the pillowcase guy. The point is that people in Hudson need to realize that this isn't a small town anymore. Locking doors at home or car doors should be automatic for everybody."

Mail thefts continue

Rankin is also handling the investigation into a rash of mail thefts from boxes in the residential neighborhoods around Vine Street and Grandview Drive. New reports continue to come in. A favorite target of the thief or thieves appears to be the mailboxes that are grouped together in these neighborhoods.

The police have received reports that several credit and debit cards have been activated and used by the thief or thieves and that counterfeit checks have surfaced. Rankin said they have alerted law enforcement in the Twin Cities about the thefts. Last year following a rash of similar thefts in Hudson, a suspect was picked up in the Twin Cities with mail from several Hudson homes in his vehicle.

Rankin advises residents to pick up their mail as close to the delivery time as possible. He also recommends that residents ask their banks not to mail credit or debit cards or blank checks, but pick them up instead. Rankin said if anyone suspects they may have been the victim of mail theft, they should check with the post office and make a report to the police department. Said Rankin, "It is also a good idea to get to know your neighbors - who does and doesn't belong there. It goes back to looking out for each other. That can make a big difference."

Meg Heaton can be reached at

Meg Heaton

Meg Heaton has been a reporter with the Hudson Star Observer since 1990. She has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and Native American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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